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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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Power Of Simplicity

Few people take time to study the US Internal Revenue Service income tax regulations—and for good reason. According to Forbes magazine, in 2013 tax codes surpassed the four million-word mark. In fact, the tax laws have become so complex that even the experts have a hard time processing all the regulations. It’s burdensome in its complexity.

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Difficult People

In the book God in the Dock, author C. S. Lewis describes the kind of people we have trouble getting along with. Selfishness, anger, jealousy, or other quirks often sabotage our relationship with them. We sometimes think, Life would be much easier if we didn’t have to contend with such difficult people.

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A Shared Bond

When I needed a locksmith to get into my car, I had a pleasant surprise. After he arrived and began opening my little Ford’s door, we began chatting and I recognized his warm, familiar accent.

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Family Trademarks

The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland, are known for their beautiful sweaters. Patterns are woven into the fabric using sheep’s wool to craft the garments. Many of them relate to the culture and folklore of these small islands, but some are more personal. Each family on the islands has its own trademark pattern, which is so distinctive that if a fisherman were to drown it is said that he could be identified simply by examining his sweater for the family trademark.

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Looking For Zacchaeus

Alf Clark walks the city streets looking for Zacchaeus. Well, not the actual one in the Bible—Jesus already found him. Alf and some friends who serve with an urban ministry do what Jesus did in Luke 19. They go purposefully through town to meet with and help those in need.

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Small Ways In Small Places

Often I meet with people who serve in what they think are seemingly small ways in small places. They are frequently discouraged by loneliness, feeling that their acts of service are insignificant. When I hear them speak, I think of one of the angels in C. S. Lewis’ book Out of the Silent Planet. He said: “My people have a law never to speak of sizes or numbers to you. . . . It makes you do reverence to nothings and pass by what is really great.”

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“No Grace”

I have nicknamed our car “No Grace.” Sunday mornings are the worst. I load the car with all the stuff I need for church, get myself in my seat, close the door, and Jay starts backing out of the garage. While I am still getting settled, the seat belt warning starts buzzing. “Please,” I say to it, “all I need is another minute.” The answer, apparently, is no, because it continues buzzing until I am buckled in.

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Focus On The Process

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

In William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well, he says that many writers suffer from “the tyranny of the final product.” They are so concerned with selling their article or book, they neglect learning the process of how to think, plan, and organize. A jumbled manuscript, Zinsser believes, is produced when “the writer, his eye on the finish line, never gave enough thought to how to run the race.”

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Do No Harm

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

Many consider the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates as the father of Western medicine. He understood the importance of following moral principles in the practice of medicine, and is credited with writing the Hippocratic Oath, which still serves as an ethical guide for today’s medical doctors. One key concept of the oath is “to do no harm.” It implies that a physician will do only what he thinks will benefit his patients.

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Smile!

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

A recent study that I read concluded that smiling can be good for your health. Research shows that smiling slows down the heart and reduces stress.

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The World’s Children

Our Daily Bread Cover June 2014

After a group of high schoolers visited an orphanage during a ministry trip, one student was visibly upset. When asked why, he said it reminded him of his own situation 10 years earlier.

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9 thoughts on “The World’s Children

  1. edwinpadilla says:

    On a personal note in my first marriage she was a ward of the state in NY, an orphan. She attended Catholic school and was quite gifted but her emotional state, well we didn’t make it as a married couple. Coming from a big family my hope was I could provide the family she never had, but to no avail due to the dysfunction in my own family. In spite of all of this God never leaves us or forsakes us. Today she lives nearby to our son, and he too has come to terms with his spiritual life. So there’s always hope especially for these little innocent victims of circumstances.

  2. princessdee says:

    Lord, pls give me the grace to be able to adopt my late cousin’s son soon.Lord, you know I desire it, please bless and empower me so that I can be a blessing to this little one, amen.

  3. godsword says:

    Sometimes I thought of how life would be if I was an orphan. I thank God that I’m not!

    #hemademe

  4. xs says:

    let the Lord have his way in your heart, allow Him to reveal things that you are not able to see. Be willing and open. God richly bless you all,never forget what we are about, let’s play our part.
    God bless our daily bread ministry

  5. sgvaughan says:

    Every person on this earth is a “child” of God. “Whatever you do for the least of these you do for me”. God help us to find you in every person we meet. May every one of your children find a need and then meet a need for someone today.

  6. neetavg says:

    But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16 NKJV)
    Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalms 127:3 NKJV)
    Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)
    Hope we invest in their lives.

  7. eternallyhis says:

    Amen to every word you wrote. And to think, if we find it hard, even impossible for us to love someone, we can ask God and He will give us His Supernatural Love for any and all people He brings into our lives or sends us out to meet. God is our source. Praise Jesus Christ our Lord.

  8. boilers says:

    Wonderful post Robif.

  9. robif says:

    It is so very wonderful that Jesus commands us to “love the little children”, as being vunerable in their innocence they need all the love and protection they can get from God’s big children, the adult disciples. It is so right to say that we all can play a role in helping Jesus to love, protet and nurture them in his ways. Let us remember that we are all ‘God’s children’ and that we should treat everyone with the love God has granted us through His amazing grace. Mother Theresa was once asked how she delt so lovingly with the those so acututely and grotesquely inflicted with leprosy and she responded, ‘I just see Jesus in every one of them’. Something to be learned for each one of us I believe, seeing Jesus in All God’s children; the little and old children, the big children of God, the saved and the unsaved. Let us see Jesus in them all and love them as Jesus would have us do.

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