Delighting Grace: How did you get started in Our Daily Bread? Did you apply or what?
Dave Branon: I started working for Our Daily Bread as an assistant editor for the publication. I had been teaching high school English and coaching basketball, but when the opportunity to become a part of RBC Ministries opened up, I felt that God was calling me to leave one profession I loved (working with kids) and move to another (writing and editing Christian literature). Once I started here, I was given some writing assignments with other RBC publications, and I guess I did okay with those articles. Eventually, I was asked to write articles for ODB and the editors have stuck with me. I’ve been writing for Our Daily Bread since 1988. Almost 1,000 articles!
Delighting Grace: Wow incredible 1,000 articles! Our Daily Bread is the most famous and longest running devotional in the world. Can you tell us the process or steps in making or writing it before it can go to the readers.
Dave Branon: Each month, the writers are asked to submit a number of articles to the editor, Anne Cetas. These articles are collected by the ODB staff, copied, and distributed to our evaluation committee. This committee reads each article ahead of time and then meets together to discuss each one in detail. We look at the illustration to see if it is a good one; we examine the Bible reading and the teaching to make sure they go together. We think about the ending and whether it works. Occasionally, we send an article back to the writer to do additional work. Sometimes, we have to say that the article simply won’t work.
All articles that make it through the committee are then edited for length, clarity, grammar, punctuation, biblical accuracy, and a bunch of other things. The articles then have to go to translators, who turn them into the other languages we produce. The entire process takes a year from beginning to end.
Delighting Grace: Do ODB staff have a devotion time in the office? How do you do devotion with the staff?
Dave Branon: RBC Ministries has many departments. The ODB staff is part of the publishing team. We meet each Monday morning for devotions. We take turns sharing whatever the Lord lays on our heart. The entire RBC staff meets together each Wednesday for chapel. And, of course, we all have our churches we attend for additional time in learning and worshiping and service.
Delighting Grace: In your opinion, why is Our Daily Bread became well loved by millions?
Dave Branon: I think the fact that the ODB staff is very careful to present articles that are solidly based on God’s Word is the key. Also, we stay away from side issues that divide believers needlessly. The essence of what we want to say is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the clear teachings of Scripture. Also, having an illustration/story based devotional is a high-interest element that keeps people coming back for more, I think. It’s a great combination of human interest and biblical teaching.
Delighting Grace: How can readers make most of their devotional time using Our Daily Bread?
Dave Branon: Make sure you read the Scripture. If you read that and absorb the teaching of Scripture, then anything we say is just a little bonus. Focus on the Word. And then see if that last paragraph can be applied in your life. We try to give you an action point or a way to focus on God at the end. That’s your homework for the day.
Delighting Grace: Personally, how did Our Daily Bread influence you as a Christian?
Dave Branon: ODB was a part of our dinner devotions every day as I was growing up. My dad read it to us after each meal. Also, we listened to the Radio Bible Class on the radio each Sunday. So the concepts and teachings of RBC were part of my formative years as a youngster.
Delighting Grace: How about you, how do you do your devotional time?
Dave Branon: It’s a mixture of things for me. One advantage I have is that I spend eight hours every day immersed in spiritual teaching with my writing and editing. Also, I try to read the Bible through each year (often, I don’t make it through, but that’s okay). And, I teach a Sunday school class at my church, which keeps me in the word for hours a week. Worship and devotion are a part of all of life for the Christian.
Delighting Grace: Please invite our readers to check ODB out and other stuff RBC can offer to us?
Dave Branon: If you go to our website, you will find that RBC has so much more to offer than ODB. Feel free to use our other tools. I spend most of my time working for Discovery House Publishers—and I even have a book available from DHP. It’s called Beyond the Valley. It’s just one of hundreds of things you can get from our ministry to help you grow.
Delighting Grace: Thank you Dave for giving us your time for this interview. Also I would like to acknowledge DHP Publicist Katy R. Pent for making this interview possible. God bless you Katy and Dave and more power!