Human Chess

Chess is an ancient game of strategy. Each player begins with 16 pieces on the chessboard with the goal of cornering his opponent’s king. It has taken different forms over the years. One form is human chess, which was introduced around ad 735 by Charles Martel, duke of Austrasia. Martel would play the game on giant boards with real people as the pieces. The human pieces were costumed to reflect their status on the board and moved at the whim of the players—manipulating them to their own ends.

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Pink Sheep

While traveling on a road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, Scotland, I was enjoying the beautiful, pastoral countryside when a rather humorous sight captured my attention. There, on a small hilltop, was a rather large flock of pink sheep.

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The Power Of Ritual

When I was growing up, one of the rules in our house was that we weren’t allowed to go to bed angry (Eph. 4:26). All our fights and disagreements had to be resolved. The companion to that rule was this bedtime ritual: Mom and Dad would say to my brother and me, “Good night. I love you.” And we would respond, “Good night. I love you too.”

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The Blame Game

When Jenny’s husband left her for another woman, she vowed that she would never meet his new wife. But when she realized that her bitterness was damaging her children’s relationship with their father, she asked for God’s help to take the first steps toward overcoming bitterness in a situation she couldn’t change.

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

When Deng Jinjie saw people struggling in the water of the Sunshui River in the Hunan province of China, he didn’t just walk by. In an act of heroism, he jumped into the water and helped save four members of a family. Unfortunately, the family left the area while he was still in the water. Sadly, Jinjie, exhausted from his rescue efforts, was overwhelmed and swept away by the river current and drowned.

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Terms Of Service

If you’re like me, you seldom read the full text of contracts for online services before you agree to them. They go on for pages, and most of the legal jargon makes no sense to ordinary people like me.

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Keeping Darkness At Bay

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

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Live In Love

In the African country where my friend Roxanne lives, water is a precious commodity. People often have to travel long distances to collect water from small, contaminated creeks—leading to sickness and death. It’s difficult for organizations like orphanages and churches to serve the people because of a lack of water. But that’s beginning to change.

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Walking Billboards

Pete Peterson’s first contact with Vietnam was in the Vietnam War. During a bombing raid in 1966, his plane was shot down and he was taken prisoner. Over 30 years later he returned as US Ambassador to Vietnam. One press article called him “a walking billboard for reconciliation.” He realized years ago that God had not saved his life for him to live in anger. Because he believed this, he used the rest of his life and his position to make a difference by pushing for better safety standards for children in Vietnam.

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The Parable Of The Sting

I can still see Jay Elliott’s shocked face as I burst through his front door almost 50 years ago with a “gang” of bees swirling around me. As I raced out his back door, I realized the bees were gone. Well, sort of—I’d left them in Jay’s house! Moments later, he came racing out his back door—chased by the bees I had brought to him.

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28 thoughts on “The Parable Of The Sting

  1. brostef says:

    To think that my sin breaks God’s heart just crushes me. To think that my sin hurts everyone around me is painful to realize and own up to.

    I thank God that Jesus Christ came to set me free from my sin, from death and from the pain that our sin causes not only me but what it does to others around me.

    Thank God I have an advocate with the father in the God-man, Jesus Christ who I can go to to seek forgiveness and healing on a daily basis!

    Baruch HaShem ADONI! Praise The Lord!

  2. poohpity says:

    It seems the best way we can represent Jesus to others is to let them know we need His forgiveness, grace and mercy everyday. We fall but look to the Lord to pick us up, we struggle but look to the Lord to overcome, we are not perfect but keep our eyes, mind and heart focused on the One who is. It is not our job to condemn or criticize but share what we have been shown grace and mercy.

    We are filled with the Holy Spirit which supplies the patience and self control to watch what we say and do, so rather than sting with our words or actions hopefully they will be the ointment that encourages and leads them to the One who brings healing but if we do harm someone and we will, go and ask for forgiveness admitting to our weakness while still in this flesh. To not admit to our failures and faults is to lead others to think we are more than we truly are which pushes people away from the truth when they obviously can see we are not without shortcomings and it seems the one most often displayed in a Christian is self-righteousness (pride).

  3. sandy229 says:

    We are to be good examples to everyone. Non Christians are watching our every move just waiting for is to mess up so they can point it out to us when we miserably fail. We need to remember that only God can catch us when we fall. We need to shine so others can see Jesus through us.

  4. pastorcjwilliams says:

    Thank you so much for this simple but effective reminder. We live in a world where Christians are seldom shown mercy because those who are in a position to do so are not Christians. This fact makes it even more important that we live our lives to both glorify the Father and exemplify the model Jesus taught us.

    I am so thankful for the impact ODB devotionals have on my life. It helps me to walk in a closer, more personal way with my Savior Jesus Christ.

    1. ktbsu says:

      Excellent analogy. Look forward every morning to read and meditate on God’s word and read excellent insights by ODB. Thank you for faithfulness in preparing these devotionals way before the date.You are a constant blessing to so many who read your daily devotionals. Blessings

  5. vairbear says:

    A pastor I sat under for many years had a saying that he quoted quite frequently since he wanted it to be etched upon our minds and hearts. Much easier to say than to do, never the less it is still quite true. “Your Talk talks and your Walk talks but your Walk talks louder than your Talk talks”. Christians are under constant scrutiny by the world just waiting for us to mess up, so God please help each of us to not mess up!

  6. vbyrdestes says:

    We may be the only bible people will read.

  7. june warren says:

    Good Morning ODB as ALWAYS the Doctors Prospective is on point.

  8. lyn276 says:

    As Christians, we are ambassadors of Christ. Therefore we should make every effort to represent Him well in all situations and circumstances.

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