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Friday, November 28, 2014

Amani

As we are still in a Celebratory sprite with Thanksgiving in our hearts we have made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! here is some words of wisdom to rejoice in as we prepare ourselves the weekend. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1:7 Amani, which means “peace” in Swahili, is the name of a Labrador retriever pup that has some special friends. Amani lives with two young cheetahs at the Dallas Zoo. Zoologists placed the animals together so the cheetahs could learn Amani’s relaxed ways. Since dogs are generally at ease in public settings, the experts predict that Amani will be a “calming influence” in the cheetahs’ lives as they grow up together. David was a soothing influence in King Saul’s life when a “distressing spirit” troubled him (1 Sam. 16:14). When Saul’s servants learned of his problem, they thought music might ease his affliction. One servant summoned David, who was a skilled harpist. Whenever the king became troubled, David would play the harp. “Then Saul would become refreshed and well” (v.23). We crave refreshment and well-being when we are plagued by anger, fear, or sadness. The God of the Bible is a “God of peace” (Heb. 13:20-21), One who gives His Holy Spirit to everyone who believes in Him. When we’re agitated or anxious, we can remember that God’s Spirit produces power, love, and self-control (2 Tim. 1:7). God’s influence in our lives can create a calming effect—one that leads to comfort and wholeness. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt We’re grateful, Father, for the peace that You offer for our hearts. Nothing has the power to take that away. Thank You that Your peace has come to stay. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” —Jesus

Thursday, November 27, 2014

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

As millions around the world gather with Family and Friends to spend this Thanksgiving holiday, dispite ALL that's happen with Ferguson and World event's we are truly a blessed Nation so as you take a moment to reflect on your time spent with family and friends be Grateful and Thankful for them. I'm truly Thankful for ALL my Family and the many Friend's for ALL there LOVE and Support. HAPPIE THANKSGIVING! May this day be filled with Joy and Thanksgiving Blessings and Love

Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Prep with IBD

As we are gearing up for the Holiday Season here is some tips from our CCFA Newsletter. Letter from our President & CEO Living with IBD can be complicated. We want to ensure that patients' access to care is not. That's why we continue to monitor policies that affect our patients, so we can eliminate barriers to accessing care and enable providers to treat patients to the best of their ability. When an insurer proposes changes around treatment options that may adversely affect our patient population, CCFA's Advocacy Committee engages with them. Most recently, we've reached out to Medical Mutual of Ohio, UHC, and Aetna on behalf of our patients, and we've had really promising results. Visit CCFA's Action Center to learn more about IBD advocacy. Sincerely, Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO IBD and Food: Get Your Full Course Are you curious about the relationship between food and IBD? We've partnered with celebrity cook, television host and UC patient Sunny Anderson, gastroenterologist Dr. Lindsey Albenberg, and Janssen Biotech to launch Get Your Full Course, a new initiative which addresses the paired role of nutrition and therapy in gaining control of IBD symptoms. GetYourFullCourse.com helps you on your journey to IBD wellness with expert-guided videos, research on diet and nutrition, a doctor discussion guide, and more. You can also check out recipes Sunny developed exclusively for GetYourFullCourse.com – meant for people with stabilized IBD – and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to meet Sunny at a CCFA event near you! LEARN MORE ► Tips for Holiday Eating with IBD The holidays can be difficult when it comes to diet. Festivities can have many food choices and options that may not be IBD-friendly, but don't let this get in the way of your fun! Try these tips first. For example, bring your own dish to any event that may not be IBD-friendly, or eat before you go. Find other tips in the article "Eating Tips to get you Through the Holidays" or review our brochure "Diet, Nutrition, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease." For further information and resources, please reach out to the IBD Help Center at info@ccfa.org or call 888-694-8872. GET TIPS ► Help us improve the lives of people with IBD Your gift to CCFA helps fund cutting-edge research for treatments and cures, provides patient support services that are a lifeline to so many, and raises awareness among the public and elected officials. We can't do this crucial work without you. Donate now A Hip Hop Story of Inspiration, Tragedy, and Triumph When Mychelle fell in love with hip hop at a young age, she felt she had found her calling. Unfortunately, during the recording process of her first mixtape at 19, Mychelle fell gravely ill and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She struggled to continue working on her music despite undergoing surgery and other complicated treatments. Now in remission, Mychelle is once again ready to hit the studio. She wants her music to encourage listeners to overcome their obstacles. "No matter what negativity may try to come in your life, it doesn't have to stop or hurt you. Take it and run with it towards whatever positive direction you want to go in, and win." READ MORE ► Don't Miss Our Nutrition Webcast Are there potential foods that may trigger a flare? How can my diet complement conventional treatments? Join us this month for our new webcast/teleconference as we answer these and other commonly asked patient questions on the role of diet and nutrition in IBD. Learn tips for ensuring proper nutrition during social gatherings and hear about resources for continuous education and support on Thursday, No​vember 2​0th, 8-9​:15 PM E​ST. REGISTER TODAY ► Don't miss our next Twitter Chat Join us Dece​mber 1, 20​14 4​-5pm E​ST for our next live Twitter Chat to kick off Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week! Follow #HappyHolidaysIBD to discuss managing IBD and the holidays. Expert physicians and dietitians will answer patient questions. We encourage you to join us! FOLLOW US @CCFA ► FOLLOW US @IBDHelpCenter ► FDA Approves UCERIS® for Distal Ulcerative Colitis Salix Pharmaceuticals announced the FDA approval of UCERIS® (Budesonide) 2mg Rectal Foam for the treatment of mild-to-moderate distal ulcerative colitis. The foam, which is a rectally administered corticosteroid, should be available in January 2015. Currently available rectal therapies have limitations, including difficulty of administration, retention, and insufficient distribution to the distal colon. Join Our Virtual Turkey Trot Team Challenge is getting ready for our first ever virtual Turkey Trot to benefit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America! On Thanksgiving Day, run a 5K – anywhere! If you do run on Thanksgiving, we promise it's a great way to start your Turkey Day! REGISTER NOW ► Diagnosing and Monitoring IBD Webcast The diagnostic and monitoring process for IBD may involve multiple tests and procedures. Knowing what to expect, and why these tests are routinely performed can help you better manage your disease. Hear from a medical expert as we discuss the diagnostics and monitoring of IBD, including blood tests, endoscopy, biopsy, imaging, and genetic testing. Learn about helpful resources and important questions to ask your healthcare team on Tu​esday, De​cember 2, 20​1​4 from 8-9:1​5PM E​ST. REGISTER NOW ► What's on your holiday shopping list? How about making a difference? Send one of our beautiful and customizable holiday cards this season and you'll be spreading cheer and supporting IBD treatments and cures. Proceeds from your cards will go towards our research, education, and programs. BUY YOUR CCFA HOLIDAY CARDS ►

Hope In Suffering

As we begin the new week this is the week of Thanksgiving so here is some words of wisdom to reflect on as you are preparing to spend quality time with Family and Friends. In this [living hope] you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. —1 Peter 1:6 When I opened my Bible to read Jeremiah 1 through 4, the subhead ascribed to the book startled me: “Hope in Time of Weeping.” I almost cried. The timing was perfect, as I was walking through a season of weeping over the death of my mom. I felt much the same way after hearing my pastor’s sermon the day before. The title was “Joy in Suffering,” taken from 1 Peter 1:3-9. He gave us an illustration from his own life: the one-year anniversary of his father’s death. The sermon was meaningful for many, but for me it was a gift from God. These and other events were indications backed up by His Word that God would not leave me alone in my grief. Even though the way of sorrow is hard, God sends reminders of His enduring presence. To the Israelites expelled from the Promised Land due to disobedience, God made His presence known by sending prophets like Jeremiah to offer them hope—hope for reconciliation through repentance. And to those He leads through times of testing, He shows His presence through a community of believers who “love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22). These indications of God’s presence during trials on earth affirm God’s promise of the living hope awaiting us at the resurrection. —Julie Ackerman Link Does Jesus care when I’ve said goodbye To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see? O yes, He cares! —Graeff We need never be ashamed of our tears. —Dickens Bible in a year: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1 Insight The apostle Peter wrote his letters to a church that was enduring persecution for their faith. Though the “various trials” they were experiencing (1 Peter 1:6) may not be the same type of trials we must endure, the source of the strength to endure is the same. We are not alone in our trials, and our endurance in them is not due to our inner strength. It is God Himself who strengthens us to endure. We are kept by the power of God (v.5), so that our faith praises, honors, and glorifies Christ (v.7).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Dealing With Distractions

We have made it to the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! YAY! WOOT! WOOT! since we have made it to Friday let's take a moment to reflect on this week with The cares of this world . . . choke the word. —Matthew 13:22 A restaurant owner in the village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem, offered a 50-percent discount for patrons who turned off their cell phones. Jawdat Ibrahim believes that smartphones have shifted the focus of meals from companionship and conversation to surfing, texting, and business calls. “Technology is very good,” Ibrahim says. “But . . . when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company.” How easily we can be distracted by many things, whether in our relationship with others or with the Lord. Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed (Matt. 13:15). Using the illustration of a farmer scattering seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person who hears God’s Word but whose heart is focused on other things. “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (v.22). There is great value in having times throughout each day when we turn off the distractions of mind and heart and focus on the Lord. —David McCasland O Lord, help me to turn off all the distractions around me and focus on You. May my heart be good soil for the seed of Your Word today. Focusing on Christ puts everything else in perspective.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Defeated Adversary

Here we GO we are gearing up for a new week so let's start it off with this Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. —1 Peter 5:8 The roaring lion is the legendary “king of the jungle.” But the only lions many of us see are the lethargic felines that reside in zoos. Their days are filled with lots of rest, and their dinner is served to them without the lions having to lift a single paw. In their natural habitat, however, lions aren’t always living a laid-back life. Their hunger tells them to go hunting, and in doing so they seek the young, weak, sick, or injured. Crouching in tall grasses, they slowly creep forward. Then with a sudden pounce, they clamp their jaws to the body of their victim. Peter used “a roaring lion” as a metaphor for Satan. He is a confident predator, looking for easy prey to devour (1 Peter 5:8). In dealing with this adversary, God’s children must be vigilant at putting “on the whole armor of God” and thus they can “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10-11). The good news is that Satan is a defeated adversary. While he is a powerful foe, those who are protected by salvation, prayer, and the Word of God need not be paralyzed in fear at this roaring lion. We are “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter 1:5). James 4:7 assures us: “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” —Cindy Hess Kasper Lord, we know that our enemy seeks to devour us. Please protect us from him. We believe Your Word that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world. No evil can penetrate the armor of God. Bible in a year: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12 Insight The church at Ephesus, to whom the letter of Ephesians was written, was begun by the apostle Paul after he visited the city (Acts 18:18-21). Paul’s work there was followed by that of Apollos (vv.24-26), a man who had great passion but an incomplete understanding of the way of Christ. This prompted two of Paul’s colleagues, Aquila and Priscilla (v.26), to take Apollos under their wing and mentor him. This collaboration in ministry reveals how the work of the early church, so often focused on Paul’s work, was a true team effort.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Heartbreak And Hope

We have made it to the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY so as we prepare for the weekend let's take a moment to reflect on this week with The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. —Lamentations 3:25 When American country singer George Jones died at the age of 81, his fans remembered his remarkable voice and his hard life and personal struggles. While many of his songs reflected his own despair and longing, it was the way he sang them that touched people deeply. Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot said, “His voice was made for conveying heartbreak.” The book of Lamentations records Jeremiah’s anguish over the nation of Judah’s stubborn refusal to follow God. Often called “the weeping prophet,” he witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and saw his people carried into captivity. He wandered the streets of the city, overwhelmed by grief (Lam. 1:1-5). Yet, in Jeremiah’s darkest hour, he said, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (3:21-23). Whether we suffer for our own choices or from those of others, despair may threaten to overwhelm us. When all seems lost, we can cling to the Lord’s faithfulness. “‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul. ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’” (v.24). —David McCasland I’m thankful for Your faithfulness, Father, even in the times when I am unfaithful. Help me to remember, like Jeremiah, that my hope comes from You, not from my circumstances. The anchor of God’s faithfulness holds firm in the strongest storms. Bible in a year: Lamentations 3-5; Hebrews 10:19-39 Insight The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says: “Jeremiah was called by the Lord to the office of a prophet while still a youth (1:6) about 20 years of age. . . . At first he probably lived in Anathoth, and put in his appearance publicly in Jerusalem only on the occasion of the great festivals; later he lived in Jerusalem, and was there during the terrible times of the siege and the destruction of the city.”

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Story: Beats, Rhymes, and Inspiration

Here Mychelle Lee story about Crohn's. For 24-year-old Mychelle Lee, music has been her dream since her childhood. At a young age, Lee fell in love with the hip-hop culture-from the Dj’s to graffiti art- as a youth growing up in Washington D.C. “I come from a musical family, so many of my family members are in the entertainment industry. I was always surrounded by it,” says Lee. Lee was so committed to her childhood dream that upon high school graduation, she purchased her own recording equipment with high hopes of finally realizing her aspirations. But right when she began recording her first studio project, her health began declining…fast. “I had a couple different things happening with me. For a year, I had several different tests. (Doctors) thought I had pancreatitis, so they had to run several different tests to rule out everything. Since I was so young, they wanted to rule out cancer,” says Lee. Over the course of two months, Lee lost nearly 60 pounds, and was stricken with severe fatigue and nausea. It wasn’t until she saw a specialist that she learned she Crohn’s at just 19 years old. She soon had her gallbladder removed, just months after her diagnosis. “I was in the hospital for a month, and they needed to put me on TPN (total parenteral nutrition) but my insurance wouldn’t cover it. They had to put me in a nursing home, and I had to stay there for another month.” “Being the youngest person in a nursing home and not really understanding why you’re there puts you in crazy mind set,” explains Lee. While she was in the nursing home, Lee said she still kept writing and working on her music. Soon she had her resection surgery, releasing two mixtapes just one week later. After four challenging years, Lee is now in remission and ready to focus all her energy on creating more music. “I had to stop doing music all together and I am just picking it back up now. It has been a constant rebuilding process of getting back into performing and writing and figuring out what I want to do. It is not easy, but I am happy.” Her latest video, “Spaceship,” talks about her obstacles as an IBD patient and her hope for others in her same position. “The whole premise of my video (Spaceship) is to raise awareness for Crohn’s disease and inspire people. Even if you don’t have Crohn’s, the purpose of my music is to inspire people to keep fighting.” Watch Mychelle’s video “Spaceship” and visit her website www.MychelleLee.com . Mychelle Lee-Spaceship

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

HAPPY VETERANS DAY! and HAPPY ARMISTICE DAY!

Today millions of us are celebrating two Holidays one being Veterans Day and the other being Armistice Day. I want to say Thank you to the Millions of Men and Woman who have served this GREAT COUNTRY we called the United States Of America. Thank You for being our HERO'S and SHERO'S to protect our freedom's that many around the world don't have. Here is a little bit of History on Armistice Day. The final Allied push towards the German border began on October 17, 1918. As the British, French and American armies advanced, the alliance between the Central Powers began to collapse. Turkey signed an armistice at the end of October, Austria-Hungary followed on November 3. Germany began to crumble from within. Faced with the prospect of returning to sea, the sailors of America troops at the front celebrate the end of the fighting, Nov 11, 1918 the High Seas Fleet stationed at Kiel mutinied on October 29. Within a few days, the entire city was in their control and the revolution spread throughout the country. On November 9 the Kaiser abdicated; slipping across the border into the Netherlands and exile. A German Republic was declared and peace feelers extended to the Allies. At 5 AM on the morning of November 11 an armistice was signed in a railroad car parked in a French forest near the front lines. The terms of the agreement called for the cessation of fighting along the entire Western Front to begin at precisely 11 AM that morning. After over four years of bloody conflict, the Great War was at an end. "...at the front there was no celebration." Colonel Thomas Gowenlock served as an intelligence officer in the American 1st Division. He was on the front line that November morning and wrote of his experience a few years later: "On the morning of November 11 I sat in my dugout in Le Gros Faux, which was again our division headquarters, talking to our Chief of Staff, Colonel John Greely, and Lieutenant Colonel Paul Peabody, our G-1. A signal corps officer entered and handed us the following message: Official Radio from Paris - 6:01 A.M., Nov. 11, 1918. Marshal Foch to the Commander-in-Chief. 1. Hostilities will be stopped on the entire front beginning at 11 o'clock, November 11th (French hour). 2. The Allied troops will not go beyond the line reached at that hour on that date until further orders. [signed] MARSHAL FOCH 5:45 A.M. 'Well - fini la guerre!' said Colonel Greely. 'It sure looks like it,' I agreed. 'Do you know what I want to do now?' he said. 'I'd like to get on one of those little horse-drawn canal boats in southern France and lie in the sun the rest of my life.' My watch said nine o'clock. With only two hours to go, I drove over to the bank of the Meuse River to see the finish. The shelling was heavy and, as I walked down the road, it grew steadily worse. It seemed to me that every battery in the world was trying to burn up its guns. At last eleven o'clock came - but the firing continued. The men on both sides had decided to give each other all they had-their farewell to arms. It was a very natural impulse after their years of war, but unfortunately many fell after eleven o'clock that day. All over the world on November 11, 1918, people were celebrating, dancing in the streets, drinking champagne, hailing the Celebration in Paris Nov 11, 1918armistice that meant the end of the war. But at the front there was no celebration. Many soldiers believed the Armistice only a temporary measure and that the war would soon go on. As night came, the quietness, unearthly in its penetration, began to eat into their souls. The men sat around log fires, the first they had ever had at the front. They were trying to reassure themselves that there were no enemy batteries spying on them from the next hill and no German bombing planes approaching to blast them out of existence. They talked in low tones. They were nervous. After the long months of intense strain, of keying themselves up to the daily mortal danger, of thinking always in terms of war and the enemy, the abrupt release from it all was physical and psychological agony. Some suffered a total nervous collapse. Some, of a steadier temperament, began to hope they would someday return to home and the embrace of loved ones. Some could think only of the crude little crosses that marked the graves of their comrades. Some fell into an exhausted sleep. All were bewildered by the sudden meaninglessness of their existence as soldiers - and through their teeming memories paraded that swiftly moving cavalcade of Cantigny, Soissons, St. Mihiel, the Meuse-Argonne and Sedan. What was to come next? They did not know - and hardly cared. Their minds were numbed by the shock of peace. The past consumed their whole consciousness. The present did not exist-and the future was inconceivable." Armistice Day UK Falls Silent This Veterans’ Day, Let’s Honor Our Veterans

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Honor of Following

Here we GO getting ready to start a New Week with this. Then [Jesus] said to them, “Follow Me.” —Matthew 4:19 While visiting Jerusalem, a friend of mine saw an old rabbi walking past the Wailing Wall. The interesting thing about the aged rabbi was the five young men walking behind him. They too were walking bent over, limping—just like their rabbi. An Orthodox Jew watching them would know exactly why they were imitating their teacher. They were “followers.” Throughout the history of Judaism, one of the most honored positions for a Jewish man was the privilege of becoming a “follower” of the local rabbi. Followers sat at the rabbi’s feet as he taught. They would study his words and watch how he acted and reacted to life and others. A follower would count it the highest honor to serve his rabbi in even the most menial tasks. And, because they admired their rabbi, they were determined to become like him. When Jesus called His disciples to follow Him (Matt. 4:19), it was an invitation to be changed by Him, to become like Him, and to share His passion for those who need a Savior. The high honor of being His follower should show in our lives as well. We too have been called to catch the attention of the watching world as we talk, think, and act just like Jesus—the rabbi, the teacher, of our souls. —Joe Stowell Thank You, Lord, for the high honor of being called to follow You. May my life so imitate You that others will know that You are the pursuit of my life and the rabbi of my soul. Follow Jesus and let the world know He is your rabbi. Bible in a year: Jeremiah 48-49; Hebrews 7 Insight In the region surrounding the Sea of Galilee in the first century, fishing was one of the primary industries. This fishing normally took place at night, with the laborious task of casting weighted fishing nets and then hauling them back in. Fishing was not an easy occupation, but it did provide a decent living and, as seen in today’s text, was often operated as a family business. Here, two brothers, Peter and Andrew, worked together (v.18), as did James, John, and their father (v.21). In this case, however, these two families also had a partnership in their fishing business, as recorded in Luke 5:10. Jesus used this partnership to His advantage in calling these four men as disciples.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

25 Years Ago Marks the Fall of the Berlin Wall:Berlin Wall: Thousands of balloons released to mark fall

WOW! I can't believe it's been 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall when this took place I was 8 years old when this Historical event took place. Here is what the BBC News reported on this 25 year Anniversary. Berlin Wall: Thousands of balloons released to mark fall The balloons were released into the Berlin night sky, as Jenny Hill reports Gorbachev warns of 'new Cold War' East Germany's trade in human beings The Berlin Wall - in 60 secs Watch Some 8,000 helium balloons have been released into the night sky over Germany's capital at the culmination of events to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the fall of the wall had shown the world that dreams could come true. Tens of thousands of people attended events, including a "citizen's party" at the Brandenburg Gate. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to stop people fleeing the communist East. Its fall in 1989 became a powerful symbol of the end of the Cold War. The white balloons - perched on 3.6m poles to match the height of the wall and stretching for 15km (nine miles) - were released one by one to symbolise the breaching of the wall by crowds of protesters. Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue. Chancellor Angela Merkel places a rose in a remaining section of the wall The Berlin State Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony "Ode to Joy" in front of the Brandenburg Gate. "We're the happiest people in the world and we're thrilled that you brought the Berlin Wall down 25 years ago," said the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, as the first balloons were sent aloft. "Nothing and no-one can stand in the way of freedom." The release came amid a massive open-air party at the Brandenburg Gate. Earlier at the party, UK performer Peter Gabriel sang a version of David Bowie's Heroes. line At the scene: Damian McGuinness, BBC News For a weekend the balloons had become a part of the city, with Berliners strolling, jogging or cycling along the route. Today not much of the Wall remains, and often you don't even notice when crossing between East and West. That's because, after 1989, Berliners wanted to destroy the much-hated barrier and rebuild their city. But suddenly seeing the circuitous and often illogical line which tore through the city's heart was a reminder of the insanity of using concrete to split a city in two, dividing neighbourhoods, friends and families. Now the balloons have floated off into the sky, each one accompanied by cheers from the crowd - a shining and delicate symbol of peace and light, in stark contrast to the brutality of the heavy slabs of grey concrete. And a powerful reminder of how 25 years ago, under pressure from ordinary Berliners, this deadly barrier suddenly lost its threat. line The word peace is projected on to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. 9 Nov 2014 The word "peace" was projected on to the Brandenburg Gate Fireworks over Brandenburg Gate followed the release of the balloons, 9 Nov Fireworks over Brandenburg Gate followed the release of the balloons 'We can change things' The day's events began with a brass band playing, evoking the trumpets which brought down the walls of the biblical city of Jericho. Chancellor Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, and other officials laid roses in one of the remaining sections of the wall. Chancellor Merkel speaking at new information centre on Bernauer Strasse, Berlin - 9 November Chancellor Merkel said it was easy to forget what had happened in Berlin Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev attends a ceremony in Berlin, 9 Nov Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev attends a ceremony in Berlin Festivities in Berlin, 9 Nov Tens of thousands joined the festivities in the German capital Peter Gabriel performs at the Brandenburg Gate party, 9 Nov Peter Gabriel performs at the Brandenburg Gate party Speaking at the opening of a new information centre about the Wall, Ms Merkel said it was easy to forget what had happened and it was important to remember it. "We can change things for the better," she said. "This is the message for... Ukraine, Iraq and other places where human rights are threatened. "The fall of the Wall showed us that dreams can come true. Nothing has to stay as it is." Recently Ms Merkel has revealed more details about her movements on the day that the Wall opened. She told German TV on Saturday that she joined crowds heading towards West Berlin after a visit to the sauna, describing "an incredible feeling of happiness". The chancellor was joined later at the Brandenburg Gate by former Polish trade union leader and president Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader. The anniversary was also mentioned in an address by Pope Francis in Rome. He told crowds in St Peter's Square: "Where there is a wall, there is a closing of hearts. We need bridges, not walls." A visitor peeks into the former "death strip" between layers of the former Berlin Wall next to a former East German guard tower at the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse. 8 Nov 2014 A guard tower still marks the "death strip" between layers of the former wall that divided Berlin The first Trabant to cross from the East to the West 25 years ago, traverses the border again in commemoration - at the Ullitz crossing from Saxony into Bavaria, 9 Nov The first Trabant to cross from the East to the West 25 years ago, traverses the border again in commemoration - at the Ullitz crossing from Saxony into Bavaria The wall stretched for 155km (96 miles) through Berlin but today only about three kilometres of it still stands. At least 138 people died trying to flee to West Berlin. Within a year of the wall's collapse, Germany - divided after its defeat in World War Two - was reunited. Striking a sombre note, Mr Gorbachev, 83, warned on Saturday that the world was on the brink of a new Cold War. The BBC examines the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, in 60 seconds Tensions between the West and Russia have been raised by the crisis in Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union. "Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers is of enormous concern," he said. "The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some are even saying that it's already begun." Mr Gorbachev, as leader of the USSR in the late 1980s, is credited with rapprochement with the West and creating a more liberal atmosphere which led to the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989. Here is the History on the Berlin Wall. On August 13, 1961, the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) began to build a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall,” or “antifascist bulwark,” between East and West Berlin. The official purpose of this Berlin Wall was to keep Western “fascists” from entering East Germany and undermining the socialist state, but it primarily served the objective of stemming mass defections from East to West. The Berlin Wall stood until November 9, 1989, when the head of the East German Communist Party announced that citizens of the GDR could cross the border whenever they pleased. That night, ecstatic crowds swarmed the wall. Some crossed freely into West Berlin, while others brought hammers and picks and began to chip away at the wall itself. To this day, the Berlin Wall remains one of the most powerful and enduring symbols of the Cold War. THE BERLIN WALL: THE PARTITIONING OF BERLIN As World War II came to an end in 1945, a pair of Allied peace conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the fate of Germany’s territories. They split the defeated nation into four “allied occupation zones”: The eastern part of the country went to the Soviet Union, while the western part went to the United States, Great Britain and (eventually) France. Did You Know? On October 22, 1961, a quarrel between an East German border guard and an American official on his way to the opera in East Berlin very nearly led to what one observer called "a nuclear-age equivalent of the Wild West Showdown at the O.K. Corral." That day, American and Soviet tanks faced off at Checkpoint Charlie for 16 hours. Photographs of the confrontation are some of the most familiar and memorable images of the Cold War. Even though Berlin was located entirely within the Soviet part of the country (it sat about 100 miles from the border between the eastern and western occupation zones), the Yalta and Potsdam agreements split the city into similar sectors. The Soviets took the eastern half, while the other Allies took the western. This four-way occupation of Berlin began in June 1945. THE BERLIN WALL: BLOCKADE AND CRISIS The existence of West Berlin, a conspicuously capitalist city deep within communist East Germany, “stuck like a bone in the Soviet throat,” as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev put it. The Russians began maneuvering to drive the United States, Britain and France out of the city for good. In 1948, a Soviet blockade of West Berlin aimed to starve the western Allies out of the city. Instead of retreating, however, the United States and its allies supplied their sectors of the city from the air. This effort, known as the Berlin Airlift, lasted for more than a year and delivered more than 2.3 million tons of food, fuel and other goods to West Berlin. The Soviets called off the blockade in 1949. After a decade of relative calm, tensions flared again in 1958. For the next three years, the Soviets–emboldened by the successful launch of the Sputnik satellite the year before and embarrassed by the seemingly endless flow of refugees from east to west (nearly 3 million since the end of the blockade, many of them young skilled workers such as doctors, teachers and engineers)–blustered and made threats, while the Allies resisted. Summits, conferences and other negotiations came and went without resolution. Meanwhile, the flood of refugees continued. In June 1961, some 19,000 people left the GDR through Berlin. The following month, 30,000 fled. In the first 11 days of August, 16,000 East Germans crossed the border into West Berlin, and on August 12 some 2,400 followed—the largest number of defectors ever to leave East Germany in a single day. THE BERLIN WALL: BUILDING THE WALL That night, Premier Khrushchev gave the East German government permission to stop the flow of emigrants by closing its border for good. In just two weeks, the East German army, police force and volunteer construction workers had completed a makeshift barbed wire and concrete block wall–the Berlin Wall–that divided one side of the city from the other. Before the wall was built, Berliners on both sides of the city could move around fairly freely: They crossed the East-West border to work, to shop, to go to the theater and the movies. Trains and subway lines carried passengers back and forth. After the wall was built, it became impossible to get from East to West Berlin except through one of three checkpoints: at Helmstedt (“Checkpoint Alpha” in American military parlance), at Dreilinden (“Checkpoint Bravo”) and in the center of Berlin at Friedrichstrasse (“Checkpoint Charlie”). (Eventually, the GDR built 12 checkpoints along the wall.) At each of the checkpoints, East German soldiers screened diplomats and other officials before they were allowed to enter or leave. Except under special circumstances, travelers from East and West Berlin were rarely allowed across the border. THE BERLIN WALL: 1961-1989 The construction of the Berlin Wall did stop the flood of refugees from East to West, and it did defuse the crisis over Berlin. (Though he was not happy about it, President Kennedy conceded that “a wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”) Over time, East German officials replaced the makeshift wall with one that was sturdier and more difficult to scale. A 12-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide mass of reinforced concrete was topped with an enormous pipe that made climbing over nearly impossible. Behind the wall on the East German side was a so-called “Death Strip”: a gauntlet of soft sand (to show footprints), floodlights, vicious dogs, trip-wire machine guns and patrolling soldiers with orders to shoot escapees on sight. In all, at least 171 people were killed trying to get over, under or around the Berlin Wall. Escape from East Germany was not impossible, however: From 1961 until the wall came down in 1989, more than 5,000 East Germans (including some 600 border guards) managed to cross the border by jumping out of windows adjacent to the wall, climbing over the barbed wire, flying in hot air balloons, crawling through the sewers and driving through unfortified parts of the wall at high speeds. THE BERLIN WALL: THE FALL OF THE WALL On November 9, 1989, as the Cold War began to thaw across Eastern Europe, the spokesman for East Berlin’s Communist Party announced a change in his city’s relations with the West. Starting at midnight that day, he said, citizens of the GDR were free to cross the country’s borders. East and West Berliners flocked to the wall, drinking beer and champagne and chanting “Tor auf!” (“Open the gate!”). At midnight, they flooded through the checkpoints. More than 2 million people from East Berlin visited West Berlin that weekend to participate in a celebration that was, one journalist wrote, “the greatest street party in the history of the world.” People used hammers and picks to knock away chunks of the wall–they became known as “mauerspechte,” or “wall woodpeckers”—while cranes and bulldozers pulled down section after section. Soon the wall was gone and Berlin was united for the first time since 1945. “Only today,” one Berliner spray-painted on a piece of the wall, “is the war really over.” The reunification of East and West Germany was made official on October 3, 1990, almost one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Commemorative Ceremony of 25th Anniversary of Berlin Wall Fall The Berlin Wall : Documentary on the Berlin Wall from Construction to Destruction

Friday, November 7, 2014

Multiply It

We have made it to FRIDAY! Yes, the week has come to an end so lets take a moment to reflect on this past week with this.There shall be no more curse. —Revelation 22:3 Amy had battled cancer for 5 years. Then the doctor told her that the treatments were failing and she had just a few weeks to live. Wanting some understanding and assurance about eternity, Amy asked her pastor, “What will heaven be like?” He asked her what she liked most about her life on earth. She talked about walks and rainbows and caring friends and the laughter of children. “So, then, are you saying I will have all of that there?” she asked longingly. Amy’s pastor replied, “I believe that your life there will be far more beautiful and amazing than anything you ever loved or experienced here. Think about what’s best here for you and multiply it over and over and over. That’s what I think heaven will be.” The Bible doesn’t describe in detail what life in eternity will be like, but it does tell us that being with Christ in heaven is “far better” than our present circumstance (Phil. 1:23). “There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him” (Rev. 22:3). Best of all, we will see the Lord Jesus face to face. Our deepest yearnings will be fully satisfied in Him. —Anne Cetas We’re thankful, Lord, for Your presence now in our lives. But what an amazing day it will be when we meet You face to face! Life with You in heaven will be greater by far. To be with Jesus forever is the sum of all happiness. Bible in a year: Jeremiah 40-42; Hebrews 4 Insight In some translations of the Bible, the book of Revelation is entitled “The Revelation of St. John,” giving attention to the human author John, one of the disciples of Jesus. This title, however, is inaccurate. In Revelation 1:1, we read, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.” This is significant because the word revelation means “a revealing or unveiling.” The primary purpose of the book is to give us an unveiling of Christ Himself. Interestingly, that unveiling reveals Jesus to be the Lamb of God, and the word lamb appears in Revelation more than 25 times.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Does God Care?

We have official entered into a new month and a new week, so to KICK START! This new month and new week with a question we should ask ourselves Does God Care? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper! —Psalm 30:10 Minnie and George Lacy were faced with some questions: “Is Jesus enough? Is our relationship with Christ sufficient to sustain us? Will He be enough to help us want to go on living? Does He care?” While serving as missionaries in 1904, the Lacys’ youngest daughter fell ill. Then in rapid succession, all five of their children died from scarlet fever, none living to see the new year. In letters to the mission board George Lacy wrote about their deep loneliness and grief: “Sometimes it seems more than we can bear.” But then he added, “The Lord is with us and is wonderfully helping us.” In this, their darkest time, they found that Jesus was near and He was enough. Many of us will face moments when we will wonder if we can go on. If our health fails, if our job disappears, if we lose those closest to us, will we find our relationship with the Lord real enough to keep us pressing forward? The psalmist reminds us of God’s presence and faithfulness (Ps. 30). When he was deeply depressed, he cried out, “Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” (v.10). God gave Him healing and comfort (vv.2-3). As believers in Jesus, we will never lack what we need to persevere. The Lord will always be near. —Randy Kilgore Though tempted and sadly discouraged, My soul to this refuge will flee And rest in the blessed assurance, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” —Anon. Faith in an all-sufficient Christ enables us to press on. Bible in a year: Jeremiah 30-31; Philemon Insight “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). David was no stranger to sadness and grief. In these two poignant lines of Scripture we see how anguish can disturb sleep and seem to last throughout the night. But there is always the assurance that each new day brings the hope of God’s providential deliverance and help. This realization can bring joy even to those who grieve.