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Friday, February 28, 2014

A Celebration of Black History Month- Is it still Relavent

As February is coming to an end I wanted to take a moment to Honor my culture, which is Black History Month. Every since I was a little black girl growing up every year in the month of February we would celebrate Black History Month in School doing such things as Black History Month speeches and plays and even doing Black History Month Reports which I won an award for one of my reports on such African American's like Martin Luther King, W.E.B Dubois, George Washington Carver, Hank Aaron, Malcolm X, and many other Profound and Prolific African American that changes the face of Black History. But now it's 2014 and YES! Boy How times have change we now have an African-American President in the White House in Barack Obama something our Forefathers prayed, struggled and died believing one day they would live to see, which some have seen History being made. As an African American Woman I ask myself "Why should I celebrate Black History Month in the month of February when it's the shorts month?" The answers is We should ALL celebrate Black History Month 365 Days out of the year NOT just in the month of February and YES! I am very PROUD to Celebrate Black History Month 365 Days a Year so LETS DO SO. There was and article that I just came across in USA Today that I would like to share. Is Black History Month still needed? Larry Copeland, USA TODAY February 25, 2014 A younger generation questions its viability but still sees value in the observation. ATLANTA -- They were born long after the Jim Crow laws that officially divided American society were banished to history's dustbin. Their lives began more than 20 years after Martin Luther King was assassinated, and just 20 years before the nation elected the first black president. They are African-American 20-somethings, members of the so-called post-racial era that began with President Obama's election, whose lives have been lived largely free of overt racism. For many of them, the very notion of Black History Month is a trite anachronism. It's a time given over to rote recitations of a few well-known factoids about the lives of King, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, maybe a few others. But how much resonance can such recitations have for people who had the option of voting for a black candidate in their very first presidential election? A candidate who won? Twice? MORE: Civil Rights in America: Connections to a Movement How valuable, knowledge-wise, is a single month for youth who have practically the whole of human knowledge at their fingertips on their phones? Furthermore, these African-American Millennials say they never really learned anything useful during Black History Month activities at school, and they fret that having a formal, month-long observance gives the nation a pass to ignore black history the rest of the year. Despite all that, they'd keep it. "I think setting aside a special month takes away from the fact that we should be acknowledging black people all throughout the year; there is no white history month," says Geddes Lezama, 24, an associate television producer at Sirens Media in Silver Spring, Md. "But I do think it is a positive thing." Like others, Lezama says she learned most of the black history she knows from her parents and from seeking it out on her own. "We get a lot from our parents, but white people don't get (black history) from their family," she says. "I feel it's most beneficial in that way, that it's a time for white people to learn black history, because they don't learn it on their own." Questions about the viability of Black History Month aren't new, says Daryl Michael Scott, president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, founded in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson is credited with establishing a Black History Week in 1926 to coincide with birthday celebrations of Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Black History Month has been observed, with annual proclamations from the federal government, since 1976. Debating its continued relevance "is a cottage industry," Scott says. The debate was ratcheted up with the 2012 release of filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman's PBS documentary, More Than a Month, which argued for ending Black History Month and simply teaching African-American history as history. Tilghman declined a request for an interview. "Unfortunately, I've all but retired from talking about Black History Month. I got tired, man," he said in an e-mail. He said in an earlier statement that "being the face associated with ending Black History Month is a peculiar burden." His film was meant to "empower the history of Africans in America by suggesting that needing a history month is not a position of empowerment and to challenge all of us to be vigilant about the American story and how we tell it." But Scott says there's a compelling reason to keep the February observance: "You need a Black History Month because it's getting to be the case that it's the only American history you're going to get in this society," he says. "Those opposed to Black History Month are condemning black history to be as forgotten as American history in general. Increasingly in our schools, American history is being pushed aside by teachers who are being forced to teach to the test on issues of math and science." Marcus Stephens, 23, a senior at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, says Black History Month "is a good thing," although he got only a "surface understanding" of African-American history during February observances. "We learn about Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, but we don't learn about (the self-taught astronomer and surveyor) Benjamin Banneker or ancient Egypt," he says. "But it's our job to teach ourselves that. It's for black parents to teach black children, and for adults to go and teach ourselves." Ernest Cowan, 25, who graduated from Howard University in 2011 and is now a background investigator with Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department, says he got a true understanding of black history when he spent a month in Egypt. "It opened my eyes to how we are as a people and how everyone is connected to the black diaspora in some type of way," Cowan says. "I don't see a problem with Black History Month, but it needs to be understood that African-American history is bigger than just a month," he says. "It's more than just Martin Luther King Jr. and the handful of other well-known figures that we learn about during February. We have to study it on our own, seek it out on our own." Aaron Watkins, 22, a senior at the University of Maryland, says, "The thought of Black History Month is a good idea. In ... practice, I think it's kind of outdated. I see black history as American history. It can't simply be relegated to a month because it's too woven into the fabric of American history." "I don't think we're ready to do away with it yet," Watkins says, "but I hope in the next 10 years or so, it can be a thing of the past, because teachers will be adequately teaching black history in American public schools."

Big Spring

YES! Like that old saying Thank God It Friday. WOW! The Week has come and gone so fast, well know that the end of the week is here, here is some food for thought something to reflect on as you reflect back on your week. The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. —John 4:14 In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a remarkable natural wonder—a pool about 40 feet deep and 300 feet across that Native Americans called “Kitch-iti-kipi,” or “the big cold water.” Today it is known as The Big Spring. It is fed by underground springs that push more than 10,000 gallons of water a minute through the rocks below and up to the surface. Additionally, the water keeps a constant temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that even in the brutally cold winters of the Upper Peninsula the pool never freezes. Tourists can enjoy viewing the waters of Big Spring during any season of the year. When Jesus encountered a woman at Jacob’s well, He talked to her about another source of water that would always satisfy. But He did not speak of a fountain, spring, river, or lake. He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). Far greater than any natural spring is the refreshment we have been offered in Christ Himself. We can be satisfied, for Jesus alone, the Water of Life, can quench our thirst. Praise God, for Jesus is the source that never runs dry. —Bill Crowder Father, it seems that I drink far too often from the waters of the world that cannot satisfy. Forgive me, and teach me to find in Christ the water than can quench the thirst of my heart and draw me ever closer to You. The only real thirst-quencher is Jesus— the living water. Bible in a year: Numbers 20-22; Mark 7:1-13 Insight Having conquered the northern kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians adopted a policy of racial assimilation. They brought in other peoples, who intermarried with the Israelites. The new race, the Samaritans, followed Judaism, although not fully (2 Kings 17:22-33). Because of this corruption (vv.20,22), the Jews despised them (Luke 9:52-54; John 4:9). A Jew traveling from Judea (in the south) to Galilee (in the north) typically avoided Samaria, which was sandwiched between the two regions. Jesus chose to go through Samaria to seek out a woman who needed Him (John 4:3-5,10-15).

Monday, February 24, 2014

Empty Fort Strategy

The Week has come upon us and here is some words of Inspiration to start the week off. Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? —Jeremiah 32:27 In the Chinese historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, author Luo Guanzhong describes the “Empty Fort Strategy,” a use of reverse psychology to deceive the enemy. When 150,000 troops from the Wei Kingdom reached Xicheng, which had less than 2,500 soldiers, they found the city gate wide open and the famous military tactician Zhuge Liang calmly playing the zither with two children beside him. The Wei general, baffled by the scene and believing it was an ambush, ordered a full retreat. The Bible offers another example of a bewildering battle strategy. In Judges 7, God had Gideon use 300 men, horns, jars, and blazing torches against armies that were “as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number” (v.12). Could Israel defeat such a formidable foe? It was humanly impossible! They had neither the manpower nor the military hardware. But they had one thing that worked for them and that was all they needed. They had God’s promise: “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory” (v.7 nlt). The result? Victory! Are you facing a formidable challenge? The Lord has said, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jer. 32:27). —Poh Fang Chia Be strong in the Lord and be of good courage; Your mighty Defender is always the same. Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending; Victory is sure when you call on His name. —Johnson With God, all things are possible.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bob Schieffer-My Story

Here is CBS News Anchor Bob Schieffer Story When you hear the name Bob Schieffer, you immediately think journalist, broadcaster, Emmy Award winner and author. He has been one of the few journalists to cover all four major Washington national assignments: the White House, The Pentagon, United States Department of State, and United States Congress. What you may not know, is that Schieffer is an ulcerative colitis patient, having been diagnosed in 1974. Mr. Schieffer will serve as Honorary Chair for Take Steps throughout the 2014 walk season. “I’ve been dealing with ulcerative colitis since 1974 and we still don’t know all the reasons why people get these terrible diseases,” said Schieffer. “It's very interesting: ulcerative colitis is what we kind of call a 'below-the-belt' disease -- people are reluctant to talk about UC, for the obvious reasons. And that's why I think it is very important for those of us who have suffered from digestive diseases, to talk about it and help raise awareness,” said Schieffer. Before his illustrious career took off, Schieffer served as captain in the United States Air Force. His first job was at the Fort Worth Star Telegram. His big break was in 1963, when shortly after President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Schieffer received a telephone call from a woman in search of a ride to Dallas. The woman was Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, whom he accompanied to the Dallas police station. The rest, as they say, is history. Schieffer began his tenure at CBS as anchor for the Sunday broadcasts and frankly, never looked back. He was assigned to the Pentagon from 1970 and 1974 and was the network's White House correspondent from 1974 to 1979. Mr. Schieffer served 23 years as anchor for the Saturday edition of the CBS Evening News from 1973-1996 and was Chief Washington correspondent from 1982. He has been anchoring the popular public affairs show "Face the Nation" since 1991. Raised in Texas, with an inclination toward country music, Schieffer began moonlighting late-in-life as a country singer. “I’m Bob Schieffer of CBS News most of the time,” he said, “but at night I have this fantasy of being a country music singer.” The veteran CBS newsman has led a band that calls itself Honky Tonk Confidential, a D.C.-based country and western band and has written songs himself, including “TV Anchorman,” about a gas station attendant who gets vaulted onto the evening news after being spotted at the pump at Stuckey’s by a highly-paid news consultant. Schieffer said the highlight of playing with the band came in 2008 when they were invited to play at the Grand Ole Opry, country music’s biggest stage. “The next week I was moderating the presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain, and I was a lot more nervous at the Grand Ole Opry than I was at that debate,” Schieffer said. For more information on how you can join Mr. Schieffer and get involved with Take Steps for the upcoming spring walk season, please visit www.cctakesteps.org.

Tell It On The Mountain

WOW! It's Friday and the Week is coming to and End. Here is some food for thought as you reflect over your week. He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. —Mark 3:13 I was surprised to see a nationally distributed news article commending a group of teenage snowboarders who hold weekly church services on a Colorado ski slope. In the Summit Daily News, Kimberly Nicoletti’s story captured a wide audience with her account of teens who love to snowboard and to tell how Jesus changed their lives. Undergirding the teenagers is a Christian youth organization equipping them to demonstrate God’s love. It’s easier to do things yourself than to train others, yet Jesus poured Himself into a dozen disciples through whom His work would reach the world. In the midst of the pressing need of people clamoring to be healed, He climbed a mountain where “He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out” (Mark 3:14). One of those snowboarders in Colorado said of her discipleship training: “I’ve never been able to build relationships with family or friends; I’ve kept them at arm’s length. [The program] showed me God’s love. It opened me to reach out to people.” Experiencing Jesus’ love and being in company with Him and His followers, we find courage to act and speak in ways that honor our Lord. —David McCasland Let us go forth, as called of God, Redeemed by Jesus’ precious blood; His love to show, His life to live, His message speak, His mercy give. —Whittle Witnessing isn’t a job to be done but a life to be lived. Bible in a year: Numbers 1-3; Mark 3 Insight The selection and call of the 12 disciples (Mark 3:13-15) is told in greater detail in Matthew 10:1-42 and Luke 6:12-16. Significantly, Luke tells us that Jesus spent time alone with God “and continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12) before He named His disciples.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Journalist, Emmy award winner... and IBD patient

Here is the February Issue of our CCFA Newsletter What You Didn't Know About Bob Schieffer Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Bob Schieffer is a renowned broadcast journalist, Emmy award winner and author... and he also has ulcerative colitis. Diagnosed in 1974, Mr. Schieffer has lived with IBD for decades, and while it hasn't always been easy, he's managed to have a truly illustrious career despite the disease. Committed to raising awareness about living with IBD, Mr. Schieffer will serve as the Honorary Chair for Take Steps throughout the 2014 season. read more Our Health Insurance Marketplace 101 Webcast is now available! Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) presented a health insurance webcast that provided an overview of the Affordable Care Act, including the enrollment process and available options for coverage. Now the webcast is available in our online archives! Check it out. IBD & Depression Many people find that they are more likely to experience feelings of depression during the winter months. This phenomenon is referred to as seasonal affective disorder. Knowing this, it's important for people living with IBD to remember that depression affects 15 to 35 percent of IBD patients, and it's crucial to discuss your feelings and emotions with your doctor. For further information, contact the IBD Help Center at info@ccfa.org. read more FEBRUARY 2014 ISSUE Walk For Crohn's & Colitis Take Steps is dedicated to those living with IBD and the friends, family and loved ones who help ease the pain of these unbearable diseases. Join us in 2014! With events in all 50 states and more than 170 communities across the country, find a walk in your area today! Help make a difference With your support, we fund critical research towards treatments and cures for IBD and provide continued support and resources to patients and their loved ones. We're making a difference every day... and we couldn't do it without you. Make a donation to CCFA today. CCFA Community Support Need support? CCFACommunity.org provides discussion forums and support groups for patients, family members and friends. Connect today! IBD Clinical Trials & Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials and other research on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Some of the recently added studies include: • A Phase III, Randomized, Multi-Centre, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of HMPL-004 in subjects with mild to moderate active UC, conducted by Nutrition Science Partners • Growth in Pediatric Patients with Ulcerative Colitis, conducted by Columbia University Medical Center By participating in a medical study or clinical trial, you can have a more active role in your own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they become widely available, and help others by contributing to medical research. Deciding whether you should participate in a study or clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the process of drug development and your specific role. doctors

Monday, February 17, 2014

HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY!

Today just wanted to stop and take a moment to wish everyone a HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY! This is a day to reflect on our Forefather's and How they fought for our country Freedoms. Here is some history behind President's Day by International Business Times along with Presidential Quotes. Originally established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington's birthday on Feb. 22, Presidents Day later became a popular holiday in 1971 when the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed to create more long weekends for workers. Celebrated on the third Monday in February, Presidents Day was created with the provision to combine both Washington and President Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays, which fall a few days apart in February. By the mid-1980s, the holiday started being marketed as Presidents Day, with sales advertised in stores nationwide. Still, some states have chosen to tailor the holiday to honor specific leaders. For instance, Arkansas celebrates Washington as well as civil rights activist Daisy Gatson Bates. Alabama commemorates Washington and Thomas Jefferson. In New Mexico, the holiday is celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving. In Massachusetts, the state continues to celebrate Washington’s birthday on Feb. 22. In Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12 is considered a state holiday. In Virginia, George Washington’s home state, Presidents Day is legally called “George Washington Day.” mt rushmore A list of inspirational quotes made by 14 U.S. presidents to celebrate Presidents Day Flickr/Jefre Gilyen Besides sales and travel deals, Presidents Day is typically recognized as a day for patriotic celebration and remembrance. To commemorate U.S. presidents past and present, below are 14 quotes to share on the national holiday: “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington “Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.” -- Thomas Jefferson “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -- John Quincy Adams "I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice." – Abraham Lincoln “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.” -- Theodore Roosevelt “I not only use all the brains that I have but all that I can borrow.” -- Woodrow Wilson “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.” -- Franklin D. Roosevelt “Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination.” -- Dwight D. Eisenhower “Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.” -- John F. Kennedy “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles, and it must be taken one step at a time.” -- Lyndon B. Johnson “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” -- Jimmy Carter “Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.” – George H.W. Bush “We must teach our children to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.” -- Bill Clinton “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -- Barack Obama

On Listening

Where starting the New Week with this Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. —Ecclesiastes 5:2 God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason,” the saying goes. The ability to listen is an essential life skill. Counselors tell us to listen to each other. Spiritual leaders tell us to listen to God. But hardly anyone says, “Listen to yourself.” I’m not suggesting that we have an inner voice that always knows the right thing to say. Nor am I saying we should listen to ourselves instead of to God and others. I’m suggesting that we need to listen to ourselves in order to learn how others might be receiving our words. The Israelites could have used this advice when Moses was leading them out of Egypt. Within days of their miraculous deliverance, they were complaining (Ex. 16:2). Although their need for food was legitimate, their way of expressing the need was not (v.3). Whenever we speak out of fear, anger, ignorance, or pride—even if what we say is true—those who listen will hear more than our words. They hear emotion. But they don’t know whether the emotion comes from love and concern or disdain and disrespect, so we risk misunderstanding. If we listen to ourselves before speaking out loud, we can judge our hearts before our careless words harm others or sadden our God. —Julie Ackerman Link Lord, help me to think before I speak, to check my heart. Help me to control my tongue and to express myself clearly so that I won’t cause dissension. Set a guard on my lips. Words spoken rashly do more harm than good.

Friday, February 14, 2014

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Just want to take a moment to wish every one on this Friday a very Happy Valentine's Day! I know today many are celebrating with the one's they Love. Today I am constantly reminded that it's truely Beautiful to know that you are Loved by so many. So say I LOVE YOU more often to the many Family, Friends, Co-Workers, Church members and the people around you because you may never know when it will be the last time you hear these words I LOVE YOU again. And also remember this JESUS LOVES YOU too.

True Love

On this Friday which is Valentine's Day the week has come to an end Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13 During the rehearsal for my brother’s wedding ceremony, my husband snapped a picture of the bride and groom as they faced each other in front of the pastor. When we looked at the photograph later, we noticed that the camera’s flash had illuminated a metal cross in the background, which appeared as a glowing image above the couple. The photograph reminded me that marriage is a picture of Christ’s love for the church as shown on the cross. When the Bible instructs husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25), God compares that kind of faithful, selfless affection to Christ’s love for His followers. Because Christ sacrificed His life for the sake of love, we are all to love each other (1 John 4:10-11). He died in our place, so that our sin would not keep us separate from God for eternity. He lived out His words to the disciples: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). Many of us suffer from the pain of abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Despite all of this, through Christ we can understand the sacrificial, compassionate, and enduring nature of true love. Today, remember that you are loved by God. Jesus said so with His life. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Love divine, so great and wondrous, Deep and mighty, pure, sublime! Coming from the heart of Jesus— Just the same through tests of time. —Blom Nothing speaks more clearly of God’s love than the cross of Jesus. Bible in a year: Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26 Insight In the ancient Roman hierarchy, to be a “friend of Caesar” meant having a close relationship with the highest seat of power. Such “friends” knew the emperor so well that they actually opened his mail and carried on his correspondence. They also showed a willingness to serve the emperor as he directed. So it is for the follower of Christ today. The Lord Jesus has called us “friends” (John 15:15). He has let us in on His intimacy with His Father and wants us to share His message of love with others. Certainly, to be the friend of Jesus is to be in relationship with the highest seat of power (Phil. 2:5-11).

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Power Of Music

Starting the New Week off with I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble. —Psalm 59:16 In Wales, the music of men’s chorus groups is deeply engrained in the culture. Prior to World War II, one Welsh glee club had a friendly yet competitive rivalry with a German glee club, but that bond was replaced with animosity during and after the war. The tension was gradually overcome, though, by the message on the trophy shared by the two choruses: “Speak with me, and you’re my friend. Sing with me, and you’re my brother.” The power of music to heal and help is a gift from God that comforts many. Perhaps that is why the Psalms speak so deeply to us. There we find lyrics that connect with our hearts, allowing us to speak to God from the depth of our spirits. “But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble” (Ps. 59:16). Amazingly, David wrote this song as he was being hunted down by men seeking to kill him! Despite his circumstances, David remembered God’s power and mercy, and singing of them encouraged him to go on. May our God give us a song today that will remind us of His goodness and greatness, no matter what we may face. —Bill Crowder This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long. —Crosby “I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.” —Judges 5:3 (nlt) Bible in a year: Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46 Insight David did not immediately assume the throne after Samuel the prophet anointed him king of Israel. In fact, despite the promise of God, David had to run for his life. Today’s psalm was written by David while he was fleeing from his predecessor Saul. Here, David describes the actions of evil men (vv.6-7) but expresses confidence in the sovereignty of God (vv.8-10).

Friday, February 7, 2014

Who’s That Hero?

It's Friday. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. —Matthew 5:16 Reading the book of Judges, with its battles and mighty warriors, can sometimes feel like reading about comic book superheroes. We have Deborah, Barak, Gideon, and Samson. However, in the line of judges (or deliverers), we also find Othniel. The account of his life is brief and straightforward (Judges 3:7-11). No drama. No display of prowess. But what we do see is what God did through Othniel: “The raised up a deliverer” (v.9), “the Spirit of the came upon him” (v.10), and “the delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand” (v.10). The Othniel account helps us focus on what is most important—the activity of God. Interesting stories and fascinating people can obscure that. We end up concentrating on those and fail to see what the Lord is doing. When I was young, I wished I could be more talented so that I could point more people to Christ. But I was looking at the wrong thing. God often uses ordinary people for His extraordinary work. It is His light shining through our lives that glorifies God and draws others to Him (Matt. 5:16). When others look at our life, it is more important that they see God—not us. —Poh Fang Chia May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph Only through His power. Wilkinson Our limited ability highlights God’s limitless power. Insight The book of Judges gives the story of the people of Israel in the Promised Land, but without their great leaders of the past—Moses and Joshua—and before the first of the kings. This lack of leadership resulted in repeated seasons of rebellion and idolatry during which God would raise up judges to defeat the Israelites’ enemies and to guide the wayward people back to Himself. The story of this era is a difficult one, summarized in the words of Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Monday, February 3, 2014

Resolve To Resolve

Starting the New Week Off with Resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. —Romans 14:13 I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions since 1975. I haven’t needed any new ones—I’m still working on old ones like these: write at least a short note in my journal every day; make a strong effort to read my Bible and pray each day; organize my time; try to keep my room clean (this was before I had a whole house to keep clean). This year, however, I am adding a new resolution that I found in Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (14:13). Although this resolution is old (about 2,000 years), it is one that we should renew annually. Like believers in Rome centuries ago, believers today sometimes make up rules for others to follow and insist on adherence to certain behaviors and beliefs that the Bible says little or nothing about. These “stumbling blocks” make it difficult for followers of Jesus to continue in the way of faith that He came to show us—that salvation is by grace not works (Gal. 2:16). It requires only that we trust in His death and resurrection for forgiveness. We can celebrate this good news of Christ in the coming year by resolving not to set up hurdles that cause people to stumble. —Julie Ackerman Link Thank You, Lord, that You sent the Holy Spirit to do the work of convincing and convicting. May I be content with my own assignment: to do what leads to peace and edification. Faith is the hand that receives God’s gift, then faith is the feet that walk with God.