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Monday, March 31, 2014

Remembering Selena Quintanilla-Perez- My SHERO

Today I want to take a moment an Honor 1 of my SHERO'S. 19 years ago today on March 31, 1995 The Tejano Music World lost a MEGA Superstar when we lost Selena Quintanilla-Perez BUT in that amount of time we shared with her I THANK GOD 4 her Smile and her gift of Tex-Mex Tejano music she gave us. I made a vow that I would ALWAYZ keep her Memory and Legacy alive NO MATTER WHAT. Because she was an Inspiration 2 me and millions of others. So Today I am CELEBRATING the Life of La Reina De Tex-Mex SELENA. As the day is coming 2 and end I have ENJOYED Reflecting, Remembering and Celebrating the Life and Voice of SELENA. YES! Selena's Music and Legacy will LIVE on in the Life of her Millions of Fans. I want 2 say that I Hope 2 one day grow up and be just like U SELENA U're Music and Voice has been my BIGGEST Influence and Inspiration, I THANK GOD 4 U and U're ENTIRE Family I know that U are Smiling down from Heaven. So here's to the Voice that was and is SELENA March 31, 1995 19 years Ago Today. VIVERAS Y SELENA

Bottled Water Binge

We are starting the New Week Off with Through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men. —Romans 5:18 Here in the United States, we’ve been on a bottled water binge for a number of years. Even though most people have a safe supply of water that is free and readily available from faucets and drinking fountains, they still purchase bottled water. Choosing to pay for something that I can enjoy at no cost doesn’t make sense to me, but some people believe that a product they pay for is superior to anything they receive free. This sometimes carries over into our spiritual lives. Some struggle to accept that salvation is a gift. They want to do something to earn it. The problem is, no one can afford it. The price of salvation is perfection (Matt. 19:21), and Jesus is the only person who could pay the price (Rom. 5:18). To anyone who thirsts, He promises to “give of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Rev. 21:6). Some people try to purchase the living water of salvation with good deeds and charitable donations. Although these are forms of spiritual service valued by God, they are not what God requires for the forgiveness of our sin. Jesus already paid the price by dying in our place, and He offers to quench our spiritual thirst when we drink freely from God’s fountain that will never run dry. —Julie Ackerman Link Jesus is the Living Water— Just one drink will make you whole; Drawing daily from that wellspring Brings refreshment to the soul. —D. DeHaan Jesus is the only fountain who can satisfy the thirsty soul. Bible in a year: Judges 11-12; Luke 6:1-26 Insight Earlier in Romans, Paul had proven that all people are sinners (1:18–3:18) and shown how they can be justified through faith in Jesus (3:19–4:25). In today’s text, Paul explains how the disobedience of Adam as our representative resulted in death for all (vv.12,19), while Christ’s act of obedience brought the gift of life (vv.18,21).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pathways to Cures

This is What's going on in this Months CCFA Newsletter. Letter from Rick Geswell, CCFA President & CEO Rick Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Did you know that there's a team of world-renowned researchers focused on finding treatments and cures to IBD through genetics? Watch this fascinating video and learn more about CCFA's Genetics Initiative! I have more exciting news. For the third year in a row, I am honored to announce that Charity Navigator has awarded CCFA the best possible rating (4 stars) for good governance, sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency. This prestigious distinction reflects our commitment to remaining true to our mission to treat and find cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis while also improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Game-changing IBD Genetics Research Launched in 2012, the CCFA Genetics Initiative is a collaboration of the brightest minds in IBD-related genetics research. The Initiative focuses on "genetic pathways" – groups of genes associated with IBD that act together in the body – and whether these pathways can be targeted by therapeutic drugs. With an enhanced understanding of the connection between IBD and genetics, we're making huge strides toward new patient treatments and cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Watch the video to learn more. read more Get Fit, Make Friends, Change Lives! Team Challenge raises both awareness and funds for cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This season, we're offering three great new events: the United Healthcare Jamestown Half Marathon, the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon and TriRock Philadelphia. We're also offering our summer staples, the Michelob ULTRA Chicago 13.1 Marathon, the Kona Marathon & Half Marathon, and our signature summer event, the sold-out Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon. Join us this summer! Information meetings are happening NOW, but time is running out – register today! I'll Be Determined The I'll Be Determined website is an online resource designed to educate and empower patients to manage IBD as part of their lifestyle. Users can navigate through five pathways – Treatment, Diet, Complications, Quality of Life, and Newly Diagnosed – and benefit from a wide range of interactive educational content. Features include engaging questions, games and video-based tutorials. Users can also view and share how they are taking charge of their IBD on THE WALL. Over 63,000 unique visitors accessed the site in 2013 – join them today!

Waiting . . .

WOW! What a Week it has been now it's FRIDAY and we are getting ready for the weekend but lets take a moment to reflect on this. Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer. —Romans 12:12 Day after day for years Harry shared with the Lord his concern for his son-in-law John who had turned away from God. But then Harry died. A few months later, John turned back to God. When his mother-in-law Marsha told him that Harry had been praying for him every day, John replied, “I waited too long.” But Marsha joyfully shared: “The Lord is still answering the prayers Harry prayed during his earthly life.” Harry’s story is an encouragement to us who pray and wait. He continued “steadfastly in prayer” and waited patiently (Rom. 12:12). The author of Psalm 130 experienced waiting in prayer. He said, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits” (v.5). He found hope in God because he knew that “with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption” (v.7). Author Samuel Enyia wrote about God’s timing: “God does not depend on our time. Our time is chronological and linear but God . . . is timeless. He will act at the fullness of His time. Our prayer . . . may not necessarily rush God into action, but . . . places us before Him in fellowship.” What a privilege we have to fellowship with God in prayer and to wait for the answer in the fullness of His time. —Anne Cetas Pray on! Pray on! Cease not to pray, And should the answer tarry, wait; Thy God will come, will surely come, And He can never come too late. —Chisholm God may delay our request, but He will never disappoint our trust. Bible in a year: Judges 4-6; Luke 4:31-44 Insight Psalm 130 is one of the pilgrim songs (Pss. 120–134) the people of Israel sang as they made their way to the temple to celebrate the three national festivals (Deut. 16:16). In this psalm, the writer was deeply distressed by his own sinfulness and earnestly cried out for God’s mercy (130:1-2). Yet, he was able to confidently affirm, “But there is forgiveness with You” (v.4). Finding hope in God’s Word (v.5) and being assured that “with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption” (v.7), he patiently waited for God’s pardon and removal of his guilt (vv.6,8). In response, he invited the congregation to fear God (v.4) and to celebrate His unmerited and undeserved grace (v.8).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gentle Witness

The Weekend has come and gone and we are preparing for the New Week ahead here is what we are starting off with. You shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. —Acts 1:8 Years ago, I was hospitalized following a life-threatening, 38-foot fall from a bridge. While I was there, the wife of the man in the next bed stopped to speak to me. “My husband just told me what happened to you,” she said. “We believe God spared your life because He wants to use you. We’ve been praying for you.” I was stunned. I had grown up going to church, but I had never imagined that God would want to be involved in my life. Her words pointed me to a Savior I had heard of but did not know—and marked the beginning of my coming to Christ. I cherish the memory of those words from a gentle witness who cared enough to say something to a stranger about the God whose love is real. Her words conveyed care and concern, and offered purpose and promise. Jesus challenged His disciples—and us—to tell others about the love of God: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Through the Holy Spirit our words and witness can have the power to make an eternal difference in the lives of others. —Bill Crowder I love to tell the story of unseen things above, Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love, I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true; It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. —Hankey A caring word can accomplish more than we could ever imagine.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Still Working

Well WE MADE IT Yes FRIDAY! is here the week has come successfully to an end preparing for the weekend is what's next BUT before our mind begins to wonder what plans we have made for the weekend let's STOP and reflect on this. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” —Matthew 25:23 Vivian and Don are in their mid-90s and have been married more than 70 years. Recently Vivian suffered a setback when she broke her hip. This has been additionally difficult because for several years both Don and Vivian have been saddened by the realization that they are no longer strong enough to be active in the life and work of their church. However, Vivian and Don are still hard at work for the Lord: They are prayer warriors. While they may not always be physically present and visible in the life of their church, they are faithful “behind the scenes” in their service for Him. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 reminds us that we must use the “talents” God has given us wisely. All of us have God-given skills and abilities at various levels—and we must not bury, unused, what God has given us. It is not only in our years of strength that God will use us, but also in our youth and age, as well as in our sickness and weakness. Vivian and Don continue to serve by praying. And like them, we honor our Savior by using our skills—“each according to his own ability” (v.15) to serve Him who is worthy. —Dave Branon Lord, You have done so much for me. Please show me what I can do to serve You—to honor You with the abilities You have provided. May my life be a living sacrifice of love and action for Your honor. God can use you at any age—if you are willing. Bible in a year: Joshua 7-9; Luke 1:21-38 Insight The parable of the talents contains a profound and enduring message to the believer. It drives home the point that we will be justly compensated for the use of our Spirit-filled talents. Both motive and faithfulness will be key factors in how we are evaluated at the judgment (Bema) seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). “Good works” performed in the energy of the flesh or for the wrong motives will be burned up. But faithful, Spirit-filled service will be rewarded (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

WOW! Where did ALL that weather GO. When we woke up this morning Spring as sprung it was so GREAT to wake up where the flowers are blooming and the Sun is shining it's such a Beautiful sight to behold. So on this First day of Spring I want to wish everyone a Wonderful, Peaceful and Blessed Spring.

Monday, March 17, 2014

History of Saint Patrick's Day.

WOW! Words can't even begin to describe this Holiday that is Celebrate by Millions of Irish today is Known as St. Patrick's Day so weather you Celebrate it or not,Why NOT just join in on ALL the IRISH FUN! here is the History on St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage. St. Patrick and the First St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saint Patrick, who lived during the fifth century, is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain, he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. He later escaped, but returned to Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to its people. In the centuries following Patrick’s death (believed to have been on March 17, 461), the mythology surrounding his life became ever more ingrained in the Irish culture: Perhaps the most well known legend is that he explained the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) using the three leaves of a native Irish clover, the shamrock. Did You Know? More than 100 St. Patrick's Day parades are held across the United States; New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations. Since around the ninth or 10th century, people in Ireland have been observing the Roman Catholic feast day of St. Patrick on March 17. Interestingly, however, the first parade held to honor St. Patrick’s Day took place not in Ireland but in the United States. On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army. Growth of St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Over the next 35 years, Irish patriotism among American immigrants flourished, prompting the rise of so-called “Irish Aid” societies like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual parades featuring bagpipes (which actually first became popular in the Scottish and British armies) and drums. In 1848, several New York Irish Aid societies decided to unite their parades to form one official New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Today, that parade is the world ‘s oldest civilian parade and the largest in the United States, with over 150,000 participants. Each year, nearly 3 million people line the 1.5-mile parade route to watch the procession, which takes more than five hours. Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Savannah also celebrate the day with parades involving between 10,000 and 20,000 participants each. St. Patrick’s Day, No Irish Need Apply and the “Green Machine” Up until the mid-19th century, most Irish immigrants in America were members of the Protestant middle class. When the Great Potato Famine hit Ireland in 1845, close to 1 million poor and uneducated Irish Catholics began pouring into America to escape starvation. Despised for their alien religious beliefs and unfamiliar accents by the American Protestant majority, the immigrants had trouble finding even menial jobs. When Irish Americans in the country’s cities took to the streets on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate their heritage, newspapers portrayed them in cartoons as drunk, violent monkeys. The American Irish soon began to realize, however, that their large and growing numbers endowed them with a political power that had yet to be exploited. They started to organize, and their voting block, known as the “green machine,” became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. Suddenly, annual St. Patrick’s Day parades became a show of strength for Irish Americans, as well as a must-attend event for a slew of political candidates. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman attended New York City ‘s St. Patrick’s Day parade, a proud moment for the many Irish Americans whose ancestors had to fight stereotypes and racial prejudice to find acceptance in the New World. The Chicago River on St. Patrick’s Day As Irish immigrants spread out over the United States, other cities developed their own traditions. One of these is Chicago’s annual dyeing of the Chicago River green. The practice started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges and realized that the green dye might provide a unique way to celebrate the holiday. That year, they released 100 pounds of green vegetable dye into the river–enough to keep it green for a week! Today, in order to minimize environmental damage, only 40 pounds of dye are used, and the river turns green for only several hours. Although Chicago historians claim their city’s idea for a river of green was original, some natives of Savannah, Georgia (whose St. Patrick’s Day parade, the oldest in the nation, dates back to 1813) believe the idea originated in their town. They point out that, in 1961, a hotel restaurant manager named Tom Woolley convinced city officials to dye Savannah’s river green. The experiment didn’t exactly work as planned, and the water only took on a slight greenish hue. Savannah never attempted to dye its river again, but Woolley maintains (though others refute the claim) that he personally suggested the idea to Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley. St. Patrick’s Day Around the World Today, people of all backgrounds celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, especially throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest productions, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore and Russia. In modern-day Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day was traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Beginning in 1995, however, the Irish government began a national campaign to use interest in St. Patrick’s Day to drive tourism and showcase Ireland and Irish culture to the rest of the world. Today, approximately 1 million people annually take part in Ireland ‘s St. Patrick’s Festival in Dublin, a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater productions and fireworks shows. So Wishing ALL IRISH and NON-IRISH a HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! www.history.com

Perspective From The Clouds

The Weekend has come and gone, Now we are jump starting a New Week with a fresh Perspective on Life I have heard of You . . . but now my eye sees You. —Job 42:5 In 1927 the silent film Wings, a World War I film about two American aviators, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. When it was being filmed, production stopped for several days. Frustrated producers asked the director why. He responded: “All we have is blue sky. The conflict in the air will not be as visible without clouds. Clouds bring perspective.” He was right. Only by seeing aerial combat with clouds as a backdrop could the viewer see what was really going on. We often wish for blue skies instead of storm clouds. But cloudy skies may reveal God’s faithfulness. We gain perspective on how God has been faithful in our trials as we look back on the clouds. At the beginning of his terrible suffering, Job lamented: “May the day perish on which I was born . . . . May a cloud settle on it” (Job 3:3-5). His experience of despair continued for a long time until God spoke. Then Job exclaimed, “I have heard of You . . . but now my eye sees You” (42:5). Job had encountered the sovereign Creator, and that changed his perspective on God’s purposes. Do clouds of trouble fill your skies today? Sooner than you think, God may use these clouds to help you gain perspective on His faithfulness. —Dennis Fisher God, give us wings to rise above The clouds of trial that block the sun, To soar above gray skies and see The love and goodness of Your Son. —Sper Often the clouds of sorrow reveal the sunshine of His face. —Jasper Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 30-31; Mark 15:1-25 Insight In Job 3:3-5, we have what many Bible scholars call Job’s soliloquy. After a time of quiet agony, the great Old Testament saint breaks his silence and lets out his anguish. He calls for darkness and then destruction to overwhelm him. Instead of seeing God’s light-filled and good creation, Job feels he is living in a world of darkness. But in Job 42:5-6, we see the resolution to Job’s conflict. Out of the whirlwind, God challenges Job and points to creation as a witness to His reality. Although he is never told that his sufferings are the result of spiritual warfare from the devil, Job submits to the sovereignty of God and experiences restoration.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Pathways to Cures: Game-changing IBD Research

This is what is taking place for IBD Researcher's Recent Breakthrough. Within the first year, The CCFA Genetics Initiative had already discovered at least two genetic pathways that are targetable by existing chemicals/drugs - one of which has already proven to be safe in humans. With continued investment into this research and advancement to clinical trials, The CCFA Genetics Initiative is on the cutting edge of changing lives of IBD patients everywhere. A Focus on IBD Research The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation helps fund a number of research studies seeking to identify viable new treatments and ultimately cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the chronic, debilitating diseases known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Launched in 2012, The CCFA Genetics Initiative is a collaboration of the brightest minds in genetics research. Working together, this team of world-renowned researchers is currently leading the way in breakthrough genetic science related to IBD. Making Huge Strides in Genetics and IBD With an enhanced understanding of the connection between IBD and genetics, we're making huge strides toward new patient treatments and ultimately, the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Watch our video to learn more about what this research means for the future of IBD. Genetic Pathways and IBD CCFA-supported research has already identified more than 160 genes associated with IBD, but to thoroughly study each gene individually would take years. We have no time to waste - it's time to get focused. To simplify the approach and expedite results, the CCFA Genetics Initiative focuses on "genetic pathway" - groups of genes associated with IBD that act together in the body - and whether these genetic pathways are targetable by therapeutic drugs. Continuing the Investment To fund this science, The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation relies on the generous support of people like you. Every donation helps advance research, supports advocacy on Capitol Hill and helps patients manage their disease. Make your secure online donation today. Get a behind the scenes look at our shoot with Dr. Herbert "Skip" Virgin, Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri. Special thanks to Coup Entertainment , who helped bring our research mission to life. Want to learn more about The CCFA Genetics Research Initiative? Access our Media Kit for more information. Or, contact Erin Stoeber at estoeber@ccfa.org (ph: 646.943.758) or Lenora Houseworth at lhouseworth@ccfa.org (ph: 646.943.4415) for more information about this groundbreaking research.

Prone To Wander

We have made it to the end of the Week. We have gone through the High's and Low's of day-to-day dealings now here is something to reflect on as we move into the Weekend. Read: Psalm 119:9-16 With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! —Psalm 119:10 Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 23-25; Mark 14:1-26 One of my favorite classic hymns is “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” which was written in 1757 by 22-year-old Robert Robinson. In the hymn’s lyrics is a line that always captures my attention and forces me to do some self-evaluation. The line says, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.” I feel that way sometimes. Too often I find myself distracted and drifting, instead of having my heart and mind focused on the Savior who loves me and gave Himself for me. Robert Robinson and I are not alone in this. In those seasons of wandering, our heart of hearts doesn’t want to drift from God—but, like Paul, we often do what we don’t want to do (Rom. 7:19), and we desperately need to turn back to the Shepherd of our heart who can draw us to Himself. David wrote of this struggle in His great anthem to the Scriptures, Psalm 119, saying, “With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (v.10). Sometimes, even when our hearts long to seek God, the distractions of life can draw us away from Him and His Word. How grateful we can be for a patient, compassionate heavenly Father whose grace is always sufficient—even when we are prone to wander! Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above. —Robinson Our tendency to wander is matched by God’s willingness to pursue. Insight Although high-tech media has multiplied the ways we can be tempted, the issues of the heart remain the same. The question of how we can keep ourselves pure is still related to the Word of God. Our minds are to become preoccupied with Scripture (v.9). Committing the Word to memory makes it accessible in all circumstances (v.11). By meditating on Scripture, we discover its meaning and how to apply spiritual principles (v.15). In addition, sharing with others what we learn can edify them.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Make It Personal

The Weekend has come to an end and we are starting the New Week off with this Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. —Galatians 5:16 During my days as a teacher and coach at a Christian high school, I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with teenagers, trying to guide them to a purposeful, Christlike life—characterized by love for God and love for others. My goal was to prepare them to live for God throughout life. That would happen only as they made their faith a vital part of life through the help of the Holy Spirit. Those who didn’t follow Christ floundered after they left the influence of Christian teachers and parents. This is demonstrated in the story of King Joash of Judah and his uncle Jehoiada. Jehoiada, a wise counselor, influenced Joash to live a God-honoring life (2 Chron. 24:11,14). The problem was that Joash did not embrace an honorable life as his own. After Jehoiada died, King Joash “left the house of the LORD” (v.18) and began to worship in a pagan way. He turned and became so evil that he had Jehoiada’s son murdered (vv.20–22). Having someone in our lives to guide us toward faith and Christlikeness can be good and helpful. Even better is getting to know the Lord ourselves and learning to rely on the Holy Spirit to be our guide (Gal. 5:16). That is making our faith personal. —Dave Branon Lord, thank You for the people in my life who influence me toward following You. Help me not to depend on them primarily—but to depend on Your Holy Spirit to guide me. The faith of others encourages; a faith of our own transforms. Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 11-13; Mark 12:1-27 Insight Joash was the youngest king to reign in Jerusalem. Because he was 7 years old when his reign began, he was in special need of guidance. In the New Testament, Paul highlights the importance of mentors when he says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).

Friday, March 7, 2014

Celebrating International Women's Day

On this day we are Celebrating ALL Women today is known as International Women's Day. As a Woman I am very PROUD that God created Me and ALL Women to be the foundation and the backbone of are Families. Here is how International Women's Day begin. International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. 1908 Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women's oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. 1909 In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman's Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913. 1910 n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women's Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day - a Women's Day - to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women's clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin's suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women's Day was the result. 1911 Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women's Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women's rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic 'Triangle Fire' in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women's Day events. 1911 also saw women's 'Bread and Roses' campaign. 1913-1914 On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women's Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women's Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women's Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women's solidarity. 1917 On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for "bread and peace" in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women's strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March. 1918 - 1999 Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women's Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women's rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as 'International Women's Year' by the United Nations. Women's organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women's advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life. 2000 and beyond IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers. The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women's and society's thoughts about women's equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that 'all the battles have been won for women' while many feminists from the 1970's know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women's visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives. GoogleAnnually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women's craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as 'Women's History Month'. So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women's Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

Not Lost In Translation

Yes We made it to the end of the Week It's FRIDAY! [The Spirit] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. —Romans 8:27 Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to teach the Bible to many people around the world. Because I can speak only English, I often work with interpreters who can take the words of my heart and translate them into the language of the people. Effective communication is directly dependent upon the skill of these translators. Whether it is Inawaty in Indonesia, Annie in Malaysia, or Jean in Brazil, they ensure that the meaning of my words is clearly expressed. This work of translation resembles one facet of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of God’s people. In our times of prayer, we don’t always know how we should pray (Rom. 8:26), and verse 27 encourages us, saying, “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” When we go to our heavenly Father in prayer, the Holy Spirit comes to our aid by translating our prayers according to God’s good purposes for our lives. What a provision! Not only does God desire for us to share our hearts with Him, He even provides us with the greatest interpreter to help us as we pray. We can be sure that our prayers will never get lost in translation. —Bill Crowder Thank You, Father, for the provision of Your Spirit. I’m grateful that when I pray I can rest in Your help to make my prayers what they need to be. Teach me to lean on His perfect understanding of Your desires. The participation of the Spirit assures that my prayers line up with God’s purposes. Bible in a year: Deuteronomy 3-4; Mark 10:32-52 Insight Today’s passage is filled with hope and comfort. Though Paul describes the deep suffering and groaning of both humanity and creation, his emphasis is on the nearness of our God and His affectionate care for His creation. Paul encourages readers in Rome—and us—with the thought that God knows us so well that His Spirit prays for us, translating our weak words into prayers according to the will of the Father (vv.26-27).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Instant Gratification

This is the 3rd month of the New Year and we have entered a new month and starting the New Week with Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. —Psalm 27:14 When the Polaroid SX-70 camera was introduced in 1972, it revolutionized photography. An article by Owen Edward in Smithsonian magazine described the camera as “a miracle of physics, optics and electronics.” When a photo was snapped, “a blank square would emerge from the front of the camera and develop before our eyes.” People were sold on speedy, immediate results. Oswald Chambers saw a strong connection between our desire for the immediate and lust: “Lust simply means, ‘I must have this at once’; it may be a bodily appetite or a spiritual possession. . . . I cannot wait for God’s time, God is too indifferent; that is the way lust works.” In Psalm 27, David wrote of his waiting on God during a time of great trouble when there was no solution in sight. Instead of giving in to despair, he maintained his confidence that he would “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (v.13). We live in a world that worships the immediate. When it seems there is no sign of our deepest longings being fulfilled, the psalmist urges us to cling to the eternal God. “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (v.14). —David McCasland Help me, O Lord, to be content! My lips to seal, To every vain desire, each whim—instead to kneel, Acknowledging Thee, Lord and King, and in that place To kneel, to pray, to wait until I see Thy face! —Adams The answer to our craving for the immediate is to focus on the eternal. Bible in a year: Numbers 28-30; Mark 8:22-38 Insight One of the main focuses of this psalm is the Lord’s “house” (v.4). At the time of David’s writing, the temple had not yet been built. The place of worship (the tabernacle) was regarded as a symbol of the presence of God among His people.