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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ally Bain: 10 Years of Fighting for Restroom Access

Before we head into the New Year! I would like to share with you Ally Bain story on her 10 year fight for Restroom Access. In 2001, after several months of misdiagnoses, a pediatric gastroenterologist diagnosed me with Crohn’s disease. At the time, I had no idea what that meant. And, for the next couple of years, my only reminder of having Crohn’s disease was a doctor appointment every so often, some pills I had to take in the morning and night, and an abdominal pain here and there. Several years after I was diagnosed, I had an experience that would forever change my life; it would forever change my perspective, my aspirations, and my purpose. When I was 14 years old, I suddenly felt a sharp pain while my mother and I were shopping at a large retail store. I was in the midst of a flare and I knew I had a matter of minutes to find a restroom. After a store employee said that the store did not have any public restrooms, we asked that the employee page the store manager. I begged the store manager to let me use the employee-only restroom. Despite admitting that he knew about Crohn’s disease, he claimed he was making a “managerial decision” and repeatedly denied me restroom access, causing me to have an accident in the store. Being denied restroom access is something that no one should ever have to experience. Walking out of the store, my mother promised this would never happen to me or anyone else again. I knew who to call: my local state representative, Representative Kathleen Ryg, whom I had met while on an eighth grade class field trip to the Illinois capitol just a couple months before. Within months, Representative Ryg and I were working together to draft a bill stating that anyone with a medical emergency must be allowed access to an employee-only restroom. I had the privilege to testify in support of the bill, which passed unanimously through the committee, Illinois House, and Illinois Senate, becoming law in August 2005. It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the Illinois Restroom Access Act, or “Ally’s Law,” became law in Illinois and the first of its kind in the nation. Restroom access legislation is now law in 16 states—Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. The success of its passage in these states is largely due to individuals using their voices and sharing their stories to advocate for the cause. Others have expressed interest in its passage in many states, and I have enjoyed working with them on this endeavor as well. In addition to helping other states enact similar laws, I have participated in a variety of Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) events, including Take Steps and IBD Day on the Hill. I also served as a member of the National Council of College Leaders (formerly called the National Youth Leadership Council). This October, I will be attending CCFA Illinois Chapter’s Annual Gala and am extremely honored to be the patient honoree at this year’s Gala. Working to get the Restroom Access Act passed in Illinois taught me the importance of speaking out and advocating for a cause. My experience with getting the legislation passed also encouraged me to attend law school. I am now a third-year student at Northwestern University School of Law. I spent this past summer interning in the Civil Rights Division and Disability Rights Section at the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. After I graduate, I plan to devote my career to advocating on behalf of those with chronic illnesses, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. Help pass similar legislation around the country. Sign up to become a CCFA advocate and learn how you can make a difference in the lives of the 1.6 million Americans living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Place of Shelter

With only 4 more day until the New Year we are starting the week OFF with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 61 Bible in a Year: Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19 I long to . . . take refuge in the shelter of your wings. —Psalm 61:4 Homeless people in Vancouver, British Columbia, have a new way to find nighttime accommodations. A local charity, RainCity Housing, has created specialized benches that convert into temporary shelters. The back of the bench pulls up to create a roof that can shield a person from wind and rain. At night, these sleeping spaces are easy to find because they feature a glow-in-the-dark message that reads: THIS IS A BEDROOM. The need for shelter can be physical, and it can be spiritual as well. God is a refuge for our souls when we are troubled. King David wrote, “I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Ps. 61:2). When we’re emotionally overloaded, we are more vulnerable to the Enemy’s tactics—fear, guilt, and lust are a few of his favorites. We need a source of stability and safety. If we take refuge in God, we can have victory over the Enemy as he tries to influence our hearts and minds. “You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe,” David said to the Lord. “I long to . . . take refuge in the shelter of your wings” (vv. 3-4). When we are overwhelmed, peace and protection are ours through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. “In me you may have peace,” Jesus said. “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Dear God, I am frail and defenseless, but You are mighty and powerful. Please help me find peace and rest in You when I am overwhelmed. God is our refuge. INSIGHT: Of Psalm 61, Charles Spurgeon wrote: “This Psalm is a pearl. It is little, but precious. To many a mourner it has furnished utterance when the mind could not have devised a speech for itself. It was evidently composed by David after he had come to the throne. . . . The second verse leads us to believe that it was written during the psalmist's enforced exile from the tabernacle, which was the visible abode of God: if so, the period of [his son] Absalom's rebellion has been most suitably suggested as the date of its authorship.”

Friday, December 25, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I just want to wish everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope this day is filled with JOY, CHEER, WARMTH, & BLESSINGS as we Celebrate JESUS!

A Fragile Gift

We have made it to the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! So as we are preparing ourselves to Celebrate Christmas with our Family and Friends let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Luke 2:1-7 Bible in a Year: Zephaniah 1-3; Revelation 16 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! —2 Corinthians 9:15 When we give a fragile gift, we make sure it is marked on the box that contains it. The word fragile is written with big letters because we don’t want anyone to damage what is inside. God’s gift to us came in the most fragile package: a baby. Sometimes we imagine Christmas day as a beautiful scene on a postcard, but any mother can tell you it wasn’t so. Mary was tired, probably insecure. It was her first child, and He was born in the most unsanitary conditions. She “wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7 nkjv). A baby needs constant care. Babies cry, eat, sleep, and depend on their caregivers. They cannot make decisions. In Mary’s day, infant mortality was high, and mothers often died in childbirth. Why did God choose such a fragile way to send His Son to earth? Because Jesus had to be like us in order to save us. God’s greatest gift came in the fragile body of a baby, but God took the risk because He loves us. Let us be thankful today for such a gift! —Keila Ochoa Dear Lord, the Strong and Mighty One, I thank You for becoming small and fragile on that day long ago. It amazes me that You did that for me and the rest of Your world. May you know the peace of Christmas every day of the year. INSIGHT: The New Bible Commentary explains the census described in Luke 2: “During the reign of Augustus (31 bc-ad 14) the Romans reorganized their administration in several parts of the Empire and carried out fresh censuses of the population for the purpose of taxation. The execution of such an imperial decree in Syria (of which Judea formed a part) brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, long ago prophesied as the Messiah’s place of birth. The fact that Mary travelled with Joseph means that they were now married, but the description of her as [pledged to be married] (v. 5) to him . . . shows that they had not yet consummated the marriage (cf. Mt. 1:25).”

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE!

Today Marks the beginning of Winter or better known to all of us as the Winter Solstice as we enter the beginning of Winter let's be Grateful for ALL that God as done for us. So I just want to wish You and Your Families a HAPPIE FIRST DAY OF WINTER! May it be filled with lots of Warmth, Love, Joy, Cheer & Blessings.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Amazing Love

The weekend as come to an end and we are starting a New Week as we prepare ourselves for the Christmas festivities that's fast approaching let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: John 6:32-40 Bible in a Year: Micah 4-5; Revelation 12 I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. —John 6:38 Approaching the first Christmas after her husband died, our friend Davidene wrote a remarkable letter in which she pictured what it might have been like in heaven when Jesus was born on earth. “It was what God always knew would happen,” she wrote. “The three were one, and He had agreed to allow the fracturing of His precious unity for our sake. Heaven was left empty of God the Son.” As Jesus taught and healed people on earth, He said, “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. . . . For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” (John 6:38,40). When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it was the beginning of His mission on earth to demonstrate God’s love and give His life on the cross to free us from the penalty and power of sin. “I cannot imagine actually choosing to let go of the one I loved, with whom I was one, for the sake of anyone else,” Davidene concluded. “But God did. He faced a house much emptier than mine, so that I could live in His house with Him forever.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16). —David McCasland Father in heaven, we are in awe of Your amazing love for us. Thank You for giving Your only Son to save us from our sins. The birth of Christ brought God to man; the cross of Christ brings man to God. INSIGHT: The 40-year experience of the Israelites in the wilderness where God sustained them by manna (Ex. 16) provides the backdrop for this passage in John 6. The miraculous feeding of 5,000 men (vv. 1-13) caused the Jews to compare Moses with Jesus. Jesus corrected them, saying that it was God, not Moses, who had fed the Israelites (v. 32). Jesus then gave them one of the greatest revelations of Himself: He said He was the new manna—sent down from heaven to sustain them. “I am the bread of life” (v. 35) is the first of seven “I am” sayings in this gospel where Jesus provides a clear picture of who He is (John 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Reaching Out in the Darkness

The week has come to an end we have made it FRIDAY! YES! as we are preparing ourselves for the Christmas Holiday which is fast approaching let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Psalm 139:7-12 Bible in a Year: Obadiah; Revelation 9 The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. —Psalm 139:12 Our old dog—a West Highland white terrier—sleeps curled up at the foot of our bed. That’s been her place for 13 years. Normally she doesn’t move or make a sound, but lately she’s been pawing us gently in the middle of the night. At first we thought she wanted to go outside, so we tried to accommodate her. But we realized she just wants to know we are there. She’s nearly deaf and partially blind now. She can’t see in the darkness and can’t hear us move or breathe. Naturally, she gets confused and reaches out for reassurance. So I just reach down and pat her on the head to assure her that I’m there. That’s all she wants to know. She takes a turn or two, settles down, and goes back to sleep. “Where can I flee from your presence?” David asked God (Ps. 139:7). David took this as an immense comfort. “If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,” he noted. “Even the darkness will not be dark to you” (vv. 9-12). Lost in darkness? Grieving, fearful, guilty, doubting, discouraged? Not sure of God? The darkness is not dark to Him. Though unseen, He is at hand. He has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Reach out your hand for His. He is there. —David Roper Lord, You promised never to leave us or forsake us. We know Your word is true, but so often we see the obstacles and the challenges and lose sight of You. Help us today to see more of You and less of our problems. Dark fears flee in the light of God’s presence. INSIGHT: In Psalm 139 David invites us to meditate on who God is and how that affects us personally. David is perplexed by God’s omniscience—that He knows everything about him (vv. 1-4). He is assured by God’s omnipresence—that He is ever-present and will never leave or forsake him (vv. 5-12). And he is overwhelmed by His omnipotence—that He is the all-powerful Creator who created him (vv. 13-18). In today’s reading (vv. 7-12), David speaks of a God who is always there to lead, hold, and protect him. There is no place where he is beyond His care, and even before he was conceived God showed His love for him (vv. 13-16). Mindful of all this, David prayed a prayer of loyalty and commitment (vv. 23-24).

Monday, December 14, 2015

Let's Celebrate

WOW! What a week and what a weekend it has been so Grateful to start the New Week off with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 150 Bible in a Year: Joel 1-3; Revelation 5 Praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe. —Psalm 150:4 After Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan scored a goal against Germany in the 2014 World Cup, he and his teammates did a coordinated dance step. When Germany’s Miroslav Klose scored a few minutes later, he did a running front flip. “Soccer celebrations are so appealing because they reveal players’ personalities, values, and passions,” says Clint Mathis, who scored for the US at the 2002 World Cup. In Psalm 150, the psalmist invites “everything that has breath” to celebrate and praise the Lord in many different ways. He suggests that we use trumpets and harps, stringed instruments and pipes, cymbals and dancing. He encourages us to creatively and passionately celebrate, honor, and adore the Lord. Because the Lord is great and has performed mighty acts on behalf of His people, He is worthy of all praise. These outward expressions of praise will come from an inner wellspring overflowing with gratitude to God. “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord,” the psalmist declares (150:6). Though we may celebrate the Lord in different ways (I’m not encouraging back flips in our worship services), our praise to God always needs to be expressive and meaningful. When we think about the Lord’s character and His mighty acts toward us, we cannot help but celebrate Him through our praise and worship. —Marvin Williams How has this psalm challenged you to be more expressive in your praise to God? Spend some time thinking about the greatness of the Lord’s mighty works. Then give Him your praise. Praise is the song of a soul set free. INSIGHT: The last five psalms (146-150) are also known as Hallelujah psalms because each of them begins and ends with “Hallelujah” or “Praise the Lord.” The psalmist calls for “everything that has breath”—every living thing on earth and spiritual beings in the heavens—to worship God for what He has done (v. 6). We praise Him for “his acts of power” and for “his surpassing greatness” (v. 2). God deserves the full and joyous expression of our commitment and devotion, and we can praise Him exuberantly with singing and musical instruments (vv. 3-6).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

HAPPY 100TH FRANK SINATRA!

On this day Day we would have been Celebrating the 100th Birthday of Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra. I can't believe that I am blessed to be sharing and celebrating Frank Sinatra on this day December 12th 100 years later WOW! Magnificent. Here's To You KIDDO! Frank Sinatra - "The Girl From Ipanema" (Concert Collection) Frank Sinatra - "For Once In My Life" (Concert Collection) Frank Sinatra - "My Way" -

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHEILA E!

On this day I get an EXCITEMENT! because I share a Birthday with the Queen Of Percussion Sheila Escovado better known to Millions as simply Sheila E. I am so Blessed an Honored to share my BIRTHDAY! with the Latin Soul Percussionist Sheila E. So I just want to take a moment to wish U a HAPPIE BIRTHDAY SHEILA E!!! Sheila E (RBMA Paris 2015 Lecture) Sheila E. Reveals Rape, Love of Her Life in New Memoir Sheila E - "Glamorous Life" - With The Ladies Of Soul - Ziggo Dome - Amsterdam - 13-2-2015 Sheila E. @ B.B. King's 2

Friday, December 11, 2015

Paradogs

So here we are in the last month of the New Year which is December WOW! GOD has been so GOOD to us ALL to allow us to make it to the month of December, as we have made it to the end of the week let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 143:7-12 Bible in a Year: Hosea 5-8; Revelation 2 In You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk. —Psalm 143:8 I am amazed by the story of the World War II paradogs. In preparing for D-Day (June 6, 1944), the Allied troops needed the sharp senses of dogs to sniff their way through minefields and to warn troops of approaching danger. And the only way to get these dogs to troops behind enemy lines was by parachute. But dogs are instinctively afraid of doing this—and let’s be honest, they are not alone. Yet after weeks of training, the dogs learned to trust their masters enough to jump at their command. I wonder if any of us trust our Master enough to do challenging things we would never instinctively do or things that might make us fearful. We may not be instinctively generous or forgiving or patient with those who annoy us. Yet Jesus commands us to trust Him enough to do things that may be difficult but that will advance His kingdom. To say, “In You do I trust; cause me to know the way in which I should walk” (Ps. 143:8 nkjv). Paradogs often received medals for their bravery. I believe we too will someday hear “well done” because we have trusted our Master enough to jump when He said, “Go!” —Joe Stowell Is God asking you to do something that you are afraid to do? Will you trust Him to lead you and walk with you? Trust Jesus to show you how you can be used by Him. INSIGHT: Psalm 143 is the last of seven penitential psalms (Pss. 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130) that express deep sorrow over sin. The authors affirm that as forgiven people they have come into God’s presence because of His mercy. Today’s psalm is a prayer for deliverance, protection, and guidance. David, pursued and in grave danger from a powerful enemy (vv. 3-4), desperately cried out to the Lord (v. 7). He likely wrote this psalm when fleeing from the murderous Saul. He prayed for God’s mercy (v. 1), rescue (v. 9), guidance (v. 10), preservation (v. 11), and deliverance (v. 12). His prayer is not based on his own merits (v. 2) but on trust in God’s mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, and unfailing love.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week

The beginning of this Month jump started the Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week which started on December 1st-7th as we are coming to the end of the Crohn's & Colitis Awareness week Celebration we should always Celebrated and Honor those affected by this NASTY Disease so I hope that everyone took the time to Teach, Train & Educate those that might not understand these condition, so weather you know someone that has been affected by these condition take a moment to uplift,and encourage them along their journey because it's a very long and painful journey. To ALL the million's that are currently or been diagnose with Crohn's & Colitis stay STRONG, Have FAITH, & FIGHT for your life I know because I had to FIGHT for my Life. Blessing to ALL the Crohn's & Colitis Warriors.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On this Day December 7, 1941 is a Day that will Live in Infamy so I am taking a moment to reflect on Pearl Harbor and ALL those who served I want to say Thank you for your service. Remembering and Honoring Pearl Harbor.

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

On Sunday Evening started on December 6th the first of an 8 day Jewish Celebration and ends on the evening of December 14th which is called Hanukkah so I just want to take a Moment to wish everyone a HAPPY HANUKKAH! May Peace, Joy & Light Shine up on you.

A Faithful Servant

We are starting a New Week in the last month of 2015 as we prepare ourselves for this week here are some words of wisdom to help us along the way Read: Joshua 14:6-15 Bible in a Year: Daniel 5-7; 2 John If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. —1 Peter 4:11 Madaleno is a bricklayer. From Monday to Thursday he builds walls and repairs roofs. He is quiet, reliable, and hardworking. Then from Friday to Sunday he goes up to the mountains to teach the Word of God. Madaleno speaks Nahuatl (a Mexican dialect), so he can easily communicate the good news of Jesus to the people in that region. At age 70, he still works with his hands building houses, but he also works to build the family of God. His life has been threatened several times. He has slept under the stars and faced death from car accidents and falls. He has been kicked out of towns. But he thinks that God has called him to do what he does, and he serves happily. Believing that people need to know the Lord, he relies on God for the strength he needs. Madaleno’s faithfulness reminds me of the faithfulness of Caleb and Joshua, two of the men Moses sent to explore the Promised Land and report back to the Israelites (Num. 13; Josh. 14:6-13). Their companions were afraid of the people who lived there, but Caleb and Joshua trusted in God and believed He would help them conquer the land. The work entrusted to us may be different than Madaleno’s or Caleb’s and Joshua’s. But our confidence can be the same. In reaching out to others, we rely not on ourselves but on the strength of our God. —Keila Ochoa Where has God placed you to serve? Are you being faithful? We grow strong when we serve the Lord. INSIGHT: Discipleship has been called “a long obedience in the same direction.” The point is not how much we have done, but whether or not we have been faithful to our Lord. Caleb was faithful for 45 years in the wilderness. When Christ returns, our faithfulness will be rewarded when we hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).

Friday, December 4, 2015

This is a big month.

Here is our December 2015 CCFA Newsletter A Letter from the President & CEO It's a big month at CCFA! First, we are already part way through Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week – and it's been a very exciting couple of days. Tomorrow, we have a national call-in to the House of Representatives. Visit our Action Center to see how you can participate. You can also join me for a Twitter chat at 1p.m. EST on Monday, December 7th by tweeting your questions @CCFA using the hashtag #IBDAware. Second, we are thrilled to announce we've just secured a holiday gift match! Donations you send to CCFA by 12/31 will be matched up to $100,000. Reaching this goal will allow us to double our impact against IBD in the year ahead and continue funding the work that is making a real difference for people with IBD. Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO So please join us! Michael Osso Michael Osso President & CEO Ally's Law: 10 Years Later When Ally Bain was 14 years old, she was denied restroom access at a retail store. She decided then and there it was something no one should ever have to experience – so she called her local state representative and they worked on drafting a bill together. Ten years later, the Restroom Access Act continues to grant anyone with a medical emergency access to an employee-only restroom. Read Ally's story ► Join Our Holiday Gift Match Support cutting-edge research at CCFA this December and your gift will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $100K! Enjoy a Stress-free Holiday The holiday season can be filled with friends, shopping, and family, but it can also be filled with stress – which can exacerbate IBD symptoms. Prepare yourself by learning some stress-management techniques, such as breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. You can also order a printed brochure through our IBD Help Center at info@ccfa.org. Highlights in IBD Research – a Webcast Join us for an educational webcast on Thursday, December 17 at 8 pm EST that will highlight research in the field of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Learn about the importance of clinical trials, the future of IBD research, and how you can help pave the way for future therapies. Sign up today ► Support CCFA on Amazon Make a gift that supports IBD research this shopping season! Just find CCFA on Amazon Smile, and they'll donate 0.5% of every purchase. Check it out ► Search our resources Find your chapter IBD Clinical Trials and Other Studies CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials and other research on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. One of the recently added studies is: Low-dose IL-2 for ulcerative colitis – investigating the safety and clinical effect of a medicine called “Interleukin-2” (or “IL-2”) in people with active ulcerative colitis, taking place at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. Take Steps Team Challenge CCFA Facebook CCFA Twitter CCFA YouTube CCFA Pinterest Forward Donate to CCFA Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 www.ccfa.org | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423 Talk with an I​BD Info​rmation Specialist at 88​8.M​y.Gu​t.P​ain | 8​88-​69​4-8​87​2 Unsubscribe or update your email preferences

Worry-Free

We have made it to the end of the week YES! It's Friday with so much going on in the world it's good to know we have these words of wisdom to help comforts us in time of hurt and devastation going on here are these words to reflect on Read: Psalm 37:1-9 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 47-48; 1 John 3 Do not fret because of those who are evil. —Psalm 37:1 Trying to stay aware of current events has its downside because bad news sells better than good news. It’s easy to become overly concerned about the criminal acts of individuals, crowds, or governments over whom we have no control. Psalm 37 gives perspective to the daily news. David begins by saying, “Do not fret because of those who are evil” (v. 1). Then he proceeds to outline for us some alternatives to becoming overly anxious. In essence, David suggests a better way of thinking about negative news in our world. What would happen if, instead of worrying about events beyond our control, we chose to trust in the Lord? (v. 3). Wouldn’t we be better off to “take delight in the Lord” (v. 4) rather than fret without limits? Imagine the freedom from worry we could have if we would “commit [our] way to the Lord” (v. 5). And how calm we could be by learning to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him”! (v. 7). News of trouble we cannot change offers us an opportunity to set boundaries for our concerns. As we trust God, commit our ways to Him, and rest in Him, our outlook brightens. The struggles and trials may not disappear, but we will discover that He gives us His peace in the midst of them. —Dave Branon Lord, we see danger and trouble all around us. Help us not to worry but instead to trust and rest in You. Show us the peace that comes from waiting patiently on You. Obstacles give us the opportunity to trust God. INSIGHT: The invitation of Psalm 37 is not simply to lay down our anxiety but to replace it with something far better—trust and delight in the Lord (vv. 3-4). Replacing worry with trust is also a concern of the apostle Paul when he tells the Christians in Philippi, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

WORLD AIDS DAY

December the First is known to millions ALL over the world as World Aids Day so on this day I want to take a moment to Celebrate & Honor those affected with HIV & AIDS on this WORLD AIDS DAY.

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Heavenly Manifest

So here we are starting a New Week but also wrapping up the month of November and getting ready to step into the last month of the Year which is December, but before we do lets take a moment to reflect on this month alone with these words of wisdom Read: Luke 10:17-24 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 37-39; 2 Peter 2 Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. —Luke 10:20 At the Kenya Airways check-in counter, I presented my passport for verification. When the agents searched for my name on their manifest—the document that lists names of passengers—my name was missing. The problem? Overbooking and lack of confirmation. My hope of reaching home that day was shattered. The episode reminded me of another kind of manifest—the Book of Life. In Luke 10, Jesus sent His disciples on an evangelistic mission. On their return, they happily reported their success. But Jesus told them: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (v. 20). The focus of our joy is not merely that we are successful but that our names are inscribed in God’s book. But how can we be sure of that? God’s Word tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9). In Revelation 21, John makes a breathtaking description of the Holy City that awaits those who trust Christ. Then he writes, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (v. 27). The Book of Life is God’s heavenly manifest. Is your name written in it? —Lawrence Darmani Father in heaven, thank You for the gift of Your Son, who promised to prepare a place for us. Thank You too, that You are preparing us for that place. God opens the gates of heaven to those who open their hearts to Him. INSIGHT: Two important concepts appear in today’s passage: Jesus is the one who gives us the authority to carry on His work on earth, and God is the one who writes our names “in heaven” (v. 20). Notice that in both cases it is not our doing but God’s. Salvation is a gift of God’s grace; our part is to accept this gift.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Help from the Outside

As we are wrapping up the end of the week on this Thankful Friday let's continue too be Thankful and Grateful for ALL God has done for us with these word of wisdom Read: Jeremiah 17:7-13 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 30-32; 1 Peter 4 God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. —1 John 3:20 On a business trip, my husband had just settled into his hotel room when he heard an unusual noise. He stepped into the hall to investigate and heard someone yelling from a nearby room. With the help of a hotel worker, he discovered that a man had become trapped in the bathroom. The lock on the bathroom door had malfunctioned and the man trapped inside started to panic. He felt like he couldn’t breathe and began yelling for help. Sometimes in life we feel trapped. We are banging on the door, pulling on the handle, but we can’t get free. We need help from the outside, just like the man in the hotel. To get that outside assistance, we have to admit that we are helpless on our own. Sometimes we look inward for the answers to our problems, yet the Bible says “the heart is deceitful” (Jer. 17:9). In truth, we are often the source of our problems in life. Thankfully, “God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20). Because of this, He knows exactly how to help us. Lasting heart-level change and real progress with our problems originate with God. Trusting Him and living to please Him means we can flourish and be truly free. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt Heavenly Father, I humble myself before You. I can’t solve my problems on my own. Please help me to seek Your help and perspective. God helps those who know they are helpless. INSIGHT: The Bible describes the heart as the very basis of our character—the center of who we are and the source of our thoughts, feelings, and actions (see Prov. 4:23; 23:7). “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jer. 17:9) is the consistent verdict of Scripture. This deceitfulness has made humanity incapable of knowing how sinful we really are, for only God knows the true condition of our heart (2 Chron. 6:30; Ps. 139:1-4; Jer. 17:10). We will not admit we are sinners apart from divine intervention, revelation, and conviction (John 6:65; Rom. 8:7-11; 2 Cor. 4:4). But God will redeem and give a new heart to all who humbly come to Him and accept His grace and mercy (Ps. 51:10; 2 Cor. 5:17).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

On this Thanksgiving I am taking a moment to be Grateful and Thankful for ALL God has done and is doing in my life I am Thankful on this Thanksgiving for ALL my Family and Friends. So on this Thanksgiving take a moment to reflect on the Thankfulness of God and ALL he has done for you. I want to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! May your day be filled with JOY, BLESSINGS & THANKFULNESS for ALL that GOD is doing in your life.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Sounds of Silence

Starting a New week with alot to be Thankful for as we are gearing up this Thanksgiving week let's take a moment to reflect on these words Read: Proverbs 10:19-21 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 20-21; James 5 The lips of the righteous nourish many. —Proverbs 10:21 A fishing buddy of mine observed, “Shallow streams make the most noise,” a delightful turn on the old adage, “Still waters run deep.” He meant, of course, that people who make the most noise tend to have little of substance to say. The flip side of that problem is that we don’t listen well either. I’m reminded of the line in the old Simon and Garfunkel song "Sounds of Silence" about folks hearing without listening. Oh, they hear the words, but they fail to silence their own thoughts and truly listen. It would be good if we all learned to be silent and still. There is “a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:7). Good silence is a listening silence, a humble silence. It leads to right hearing, right understanding, and right speaking. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,” the proverb says, “but one who has insight draws them out” (Prov. 20:5). It takes a lot of hard listening to get all the way to the bottom. And while we listen to others, we should also be listening to God and hearing what He has to say. I think of Jesus, scribbling with His finger in the dust while the Pharisees railed on the woman caught in adultery (see John 8:1-11). What was He doing? May I suggest that He could have been simply listening for His Father’s voice and asking, “What shall we say to this crowd and this dear woman?” His response is still being heard around the world. —David Roper Father, today may Your Spirit remind us to seek the quiet so that we may listen first to Your voice and then understand the hearts of others. Teach us when to speak and when to be quiet. Well-timed silence can be more eloquent than words. INSIGHT: One of the major themes in Proverbs is our speech (Prov. 10:19-21; 15:1-4,23,28; 16:24,27-28; 18:7-8; 21:23). In Proverbs 10 Solomon contrasts the wise and the foolish person, noting it is our speech that reveals which one we really are (vv. 11,18-21). Those who are righteous and wise are restrained and judicious in their words and sometimes choose silence as the best response. If we keep silent, we will never say the wrong thing (v. 19), and we will even be thought to be wise (17:28). Jesus said that our words come from our heart and reveal whether we are good or evil. He warned that one day we shall give an account for the words we have spoken (Matt. 12:35-36).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Main Concern

WOW! Is the end of the week already well we have made it to FRIDAY! YES! It's about that time too reflect and be grateful for ALL that God has brought us through so let's take a moment to think and reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Galatians 1:6-10 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 14-15; James 2 If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. —Galatians 1:10 Peer pressure is part of everyday life. Sometimes we base our decisions on what other people will think or say rather than on our convictions and on what will please God. We’re worried that we’ll be judged or made fun of. The apostle Paul experienced his fair share of peer pressure. Some Jewish Christians believed that Gentiles should be circumcised to be truly saved (Gal. 1:7; see 6:12-15). However, Paul stood his ground. He continued to preach that salvation is by grace through faith alone; no further works are required. And for that he was accused of being a self-appointed apostle. They further asserted that his version of the gospel had never received the apostles’ approval (2:1-10). Despite the pressure, Paul was very clear about whom he served—Christ. God’s approval mattered most, not man’s. He made it his goal not to win the approval of people, but of God (1:10). Similarly, we are Christ’s servants. We serve God whether people honor or despise us, whether they slander or praise us. One day “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Rom. 14:12). That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t consider what people think or say, but ultimately, we make pleasing God our main concern. We want to hear our Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:23). —Jaime Fernández Garrido Dear Lord, no matter what others may say or do, give me the courage to be faithful to You today. Keep following Jesus. INSIGHT: Because the risen Christ called Paul to be an apostle on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-18; 22:1-15; 26:9-18), Paul acknowledges that his apostleship was different from the original 12 apostles (Gal. 1:11-17), but it was clearly accepted by them (1:18; 2:7-10). Because Christianity was birthed in Judaism, adhering to the Mosaic law became an issue as more Gentiles became believers. The Judaizers taught that Christians must follow Jewish laws and practices in order to be saved. Paul wrote this letter to counter and condemn this false teaching (vv. 8-9), affirming that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not by observing the law (Gal. 2:16,20-21; 3:11,24).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An easy way to help

Here is CCFA November 2015 Newsletter issue about ALL things Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis A Letter from the President & CEO There are 1.6 million Americans living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and that doesn't include the countless family members, friends, and others touched by these debilitating diseases. For Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week (December 1-7), we want to make everyone #IBDAware – to understand that these diseases aren't limited to the bathroom or the gut – and that they affect every facet of a patient's physical and emotional well-being. We can't spread this message without YOU. Join our Thunderclap today, so we can raise our collective voices on December 3rd and give IBD the public attention it deserves and needs. Thank you in advance for joining us, Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Thank you again, Michael Osso Michael Osso President & CEO Emily's Story On the outside, Emily is just like any other child; however, she fights a battle that many cannot see. Emily was diagnosed with Crohn's disease shortly after turning 13 – but despite coming face to face with many obstacles, she has shown strength, perseverance, and an amazing sense of humor. This September, Emily spoke about her experience with IBD at the Northwest Ohio Take Steps walk. You can read her story here ► Vote early! Vote often! CCFA is a finalist in DSW's Leave Your Mark contest – which will grant one organization a $75,000 donation. We were nominated by a DSW associate, whose wife and son both have Crohn's disease, and we need your vote to win. You can vote daily until November 24th. It only takes a second. Vote for CCFA here ► Join the movement! There is still time to join our new spin4 Crohn's and colitis cures event taking place on Saturday, December 5 in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Maryland/DC, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle – or you can Ride Where You Live! To learn more, visit spin4.org. Learn more ► Take Steps for Cures in 2016 We have officially launched our 2016 Take Steps walk season! This year we want to EMPOWER our patients to live their fullest lives, INSPIRE newly diagnosed patients and their families or those living through a flare, and CONNECT the IBD community. We have exciting new changes planned and hope you will join us at one of the 120+ walks across the country in 2016. After you register, please take a moment to watch this inspiring new video featuring Aria and other IBD patients. Join us ► Support CCFA today Your tax-deductible donation will help fund important studies happening right now, including research that is leading to better therapies for kids and adults alike. Donate now Nutrition Webinar Don't miss CCFA's next educational webcast, “Nutrition in IBD: Making Healthy Choices,” to learn more about the role of diet and nutrition in IBD. It will be held on Thursday November 19th from 8 to 9 pm EST. Get tips from our experts for ensuring proper nutrition during social gatherings and the holidays. Sign up today!. Advocacy Awareness Day: Dec. 3rd Celebrate Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week by joining a national call-in to the House of Representatives. Visit our Action Center to see how you can participate on December 3rd. Our Next Facebook Chat IBD can affect diet and nutrition in a variety of ways. Learn more about possible trigger foods, vitamin and mineral supplementation, and tips in our Facebook chat on Wednesday, November 18th at 5:00 pm ET with host Tina Patnode, RDN, LD from The Oregon Clinic. Sign up now! Sign up today! ► Search our resources Find your chapter IBD Clinical Trials and 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: Coping with Crohn's and Colitis – a randomized controlled trial of a self-help workbook versus a psychoeducational workbook by University of Pennsylvania. Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. Take Steps Team Challenge CCFA Facebook CCFA Twitter CCFA YouTube CCFA Pinterest Forward Donate to CCFA Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 www.ccfa.org | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423

Emily's Journey: Using Drawing to Cope with IBD

Here is Emily's story of How she uses her drawing to help her and others Cope with IBD As told by her parents, Jim and Dianna Roberts Emily was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012 shortly after turning 13. Despite coming face to face with many obstacles she has shown strength that even we didn’t know she had. Since Emily's diagnosis we, like so many other families and their loved ones, have experienced the ebb and flow of Crohn's. We have prayed with folded hands during hospitalization, and we have celebrated with high fives after good lab work reports. The unchanging factor during these times has been Emily's perseverance and amazing sense of humor despite the fight. After Emily was first diagnosed, we joined Take Steps in Northwest Ohio where we met so many other families that understood our challenges. For that first walk, Emily designed her own t-shirt. She had indeed “survived her first butt scope.” Emily is an honor student at Whitmer High School, a member of her high school varsity soccer team, and a member of the high school marching band. On the outside, she is seen as any other child; however she fights a battle that many cannot see. While Emily has remarkable inner strength, medications like Remicade, her “superpower infusions,” and Humira have become necessary to keep her strong. She harnesses those superpowers day in and day out. She shares her experience and feelings with Crohn's disease through her doodles that she frequently posts on a Facebook page she created called Crohn's Disease Life. She has dedicated the page to patients and their loved ones currently living with Crohn’s. In 2015, Emily became ill but forged ahead, determined to fight through the pain. Gradually the pain grew intolerable, and after tests to rule out appendicitis, we were sent into the emergency room for more tests, and she was admitted to Children’s Hospital. They believed a bacterial infection had triggered a Crohn’s flare-up. Despite her stay in the hospital, Emily continued to find her inner superpowers. We think this experience strengthened her resolve to speak out about Crohn’s and colitis. This year (September 2015) at the Northwest Ohio Take Steps walk, Emily spoke and shared her story. We will Take Steps again this year - inspired by Emily - in hopes that our steps will cast ripples. We want to continue driving awareness of these diseases and fundraising so that Emily may experience a cure. Not just Emily, but the millions of other lives affected by these diseases, deserves a cure. Until then, we all need to find our own inner superhero and continue raising awareness for IBD. To join Emily and the thousands of other Taking Steps this year, register or join a team.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Shared Struggles

The weekend has come to an end and we are starting a New Week with Read: Galatians 6:1-10 Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3-4; Hebrews 11:20-40 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. nlt —Galatians 6:2 April 25, 2015, marked the 100th commemoration of Anzac Day. It is celebrated each year by both Australia and New Zealand to honor the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought together during World War I. It marks a time when neither country had to face the dangers of war alone; soldiers from both countries engaged in the struggle together. Sharing life’s struggles is fundamental to the way followers of Christ are called to live. As Paul challenged us, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2 nlt). By working together through life’s challenges we can help to strengthen and support one another when times are hard. By expressing toward one another the care and affections of Christ, the difficulties of life should draw us to Christ and to each other—not isolate us in our suffering. By sharing in the struggles of another, we are modeling the love of Christ. We read in Isaiah, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4 nkjv). No matter how great the struggle we face, we never face it alone. —Bill Crowder Thank You, Father, that I don’t have to walk my life’s journey alone. You are near. Read more about the nearness of God in The Lord Is My Shepherd at discoveryseries.org/hp952 We can go a lot further together than we can alone. INSIGHT: In Galatians 6:2 Paul instructs the Galatian believers to carry each other’s burdens. However, in verse 5 Paul says that each person should carry his own load. In the case of carrying each other’s burdens, we are to do so in the context of someone caught in sin (v. 1). However, in the case of carrying our own load, it is so that we do not compare ourselves to others and become unduly disheartened by our progress (or lack of it). J.R. Hudberg

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Big Stink

This is FRIDAY! We have made it to the end of the week with these words of wisdom Read: Genesis 3:6-13,22-24 Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1-2; Hebrews 10:1-18 God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. —Genesis 3:5 In August 2013, large crowds gathered at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to witness the blooming of the tropical plant known as the corpse flower. Since the flower is native to Indonesia, and may flower only once every several years, its blooming is a spectacle. Once open, the huge spiky, beautiful, red bloom smells like rotten meat. Because of its putrid fragrance, the flower attracts flies and beetles that are looking for rotting meat. But there is no nectar. Like the corpse flower, sin holds out promises but in the end offers no rewards. Adam and Eve found this out the hard way. Eden was beautiful until they ruined it by doing the one thing God urged them not to do. Tempted to doubt God’s goodness, they ignored their Creator’s loving warning and soon lost their innocence. The God-given beauty of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil became like a corpse flower to them. The reward for their disobedience was alienation, pain, emptiness, toil, and death. Sin looks inviting and may feel good, but it doesn’t compare with the wonder, beauty, and fragrance of trusting and obeying God, who has made us to share His life and joy. —Marvin Williams What temptations are you facing today? Remember that God promises to help you fight against temptation. Ask Him to help you remember to rely on Him. God’s commands can overpower Satan’s suggestions. INSIGHT: Today’s passage records the entrance of sin into an innocent world. But it also records God’s grace in response to sin. Rather than let Adam and Eve eat from the tree of life and live forever in their sin, God graciously blocked the way to that tree (vv. 22-23). J.R. Hudberg

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

Today we are taking a moment to reflect on ALL of our Men and Women who have served our country. Wishing every one a Happy Veterans Day! Celebrating and Honoring ALL who have served. President Obama complete remarks on Veterans Day 2015 President Obama at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Monday, November 9, 2015

Charity Island

The weekend has come to an end and we are starting a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 107:23-32 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 46-4; Hebrews 6 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. —Nahum 1:7 Charity Island is the largest island in Saginaw Bay in the Michigan waters of Lake Huron. For many years the island has provided a lighthouse for navigational aid and a safe harbor for those sailing these waters. The island received its name because sailors believed it was there “through the charity of God.” Sometimes in life we have to navigate through seas of troubling circumstances. Like those sailors we need guidance and a place of safety; we might wish for our own Charity Island. The psalmist understood that God is the one who can bring tranquility to troubled waters and guide us to safe harbors. He wrote, “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven” (Ps. 107:29-30). While no one asks for the storms of life, they can multiply our appreciation for the guidance and refuge God provides. He offers the light of His Spirit and His Word to guide us. It is the safe harbor of His love that we long for. He alone can be our ultimate “Charity Island.” —Dennis Fisher Father, help me to seek Your light to guide me through the storms of life. Share your story of how the Lord has been your light in the comments section below. The living God will always be our shelter. INSIGHT: Today’s psalm reminds us that God can indeed guide us to safe havens in the midst of life’s storms and trials. However, this psalm also reminds us that the same God who calms the storm and points the way to our “desired haven” (v. 30) is the God who sometimes stirs up the oceans in our lives. It is God who “stirred up a tempest” (v. 25) that caused the sailors to melt with fear and reel and stagger (vv. 26,27). Then “they cried out to the Lord . . . and he brought them out of their distress” (v. 28). The God who stirs the seas wants us to turn to Him for help. J.R. Hudberg

Friday, November 6, 2015

He Trains My Hands

The end of the week is here we have wrapped up a long week so hear are some words of encouragement to help us ALL reflect on Read: Exodus 4:10-17 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37-39; Hebrews 3 Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. —Psalm 144:1 When former NBA player David Wood was playing for Taugrés de Baskonia, I was with him at a Spanish Basketball Cup final. Before one game, he read Psalm 144:1: “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” He turned to me and said, “You see? It’s as if God has written this verse just for me! He trains my hands to catch rebounds and my fingers to shoot!” David felt called to play basketball and had learned that God takes us as we are and enables us to do what He calls us to do. We can easily dismiss ourselves as having little use to God because we feel we have nothing to offer. When God appeared to Moses and assigned him the task of telling the Israelites that He would deliver them from the Egyptians (Ex. 3:16-17), Moses felt inadequate. He said to the Lord, “I have never been eloquent . . . . I am slow of speech and tongue” (4:10). Perhaps Moses had some kind of speech impediment, or he was just afraid, but God overcame his inadequacy with His sufficiency. God said, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (v. 12). All God wants from us is to follow His plans. He will sort out the rest. In His mighty hands, you can be a blessing to others. —Jaime Fernández Garrido Here I am, Lord, ready to serve You in whatever way You desire. Lead me. Dr. Jaime Fernández Garrido is director of the evangelical radio and television program Born Again God’s call to a task includes His strength to complete it. INSIGHT: When God called Moses to deliver the Jews from Egyptian bondage, Moses protested and offered various reasons why he was not the right candidate for the job (Ex. 3). He questioned his own identity (v. 11), his lack of authority (v. 13), and his credibility and acceptability (4:1). God responded by assuring Moses of His power and presence (4:1-9). Moses then continued his protest, saying he lacked eloquence and was “slow of speech and tongue" (v. 10). But God assured Moses He would enable him to speak powerfully and effectively (v. 12). Running out of excuses, Moses asked God to “send someone else” (v. 13). He was angry with Moses for his lack of trust and being unwilling to take up the assignment (v. 14). God told Moses that He would enable him to do what He called him to do. Sim Kay Tee

Monday, November 2, 2015

Words of the Wise

We have approached and entered into the 11th month of the New Year with only 60 more days until 2016 BOY TIME IS MOVING! so has we take a moment to reflect on this new month which is November let's have a sense of Gratitude for ALL that GOD has done for us with these words of wisdom Read: Ecclesiastes 9:13-18 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 27-29; Titus 3 Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard. nkjv —Ecclesiastes 9:17 My niece’s husband recently wrote these words on a social media site: “I would say a lot more online if it weren’t for this little voice that prompts me not to. As a follower of Jesus, you might think that little voice is the Holy Spirit. It isn’t. It’s my wife, Heidi.” With the smile comes a sobering thought. The cautions of a discerning friend can reflect the wisdom of God. Ecclesiastes 9 says that the “words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard” (v. 17 nkjv). Scripture warns us not to be wise in our own eyes or proud (Prov. 3:7; Isa. 5:21; Rom. 12:16). In other words, let’s not assume that we have all the answers! Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” Whether it is a friend, a spouse, a pastor, or a co-worker, God can use others to teach us more of His wisdom. “Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning,” declares the book of Proverbs (14:33). Part of recognizing the Spirit’s wisdom is discovering how to listen and learn from each other. —Cindy Hess Kasper Dear Lord, thank You for Your Word that teaches me how to love You and others. Thank You also for the people You place in my life to remind me of Your truth. True wisdom begins and ends with God. INSIGHT: The author of the book of Ecclesiastes is unknown. Many believe it to be Solomon, the legendary wise son of King David. However, we are only told that the author is “the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem” (Eccl. 1:1). This description would fit King Solomon. J.R. Hudberg

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Storms of Life

So here we are wrapping up the month of October BOY it went by so FAST! we are at the end of the week already YES! It's FRIDAY! as we prepare for the weekend let's reflect on this month and this week as we ALL prepare our self's to enter into a whole New month, but before we do let's be reminded of this Read: Mark 4:35-5:1 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 20-21; 2 Timothy 4 You may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith . . . may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. —1 Peter 1:6-7 In the book of Mark we read about a terrible storm. The disciples were with Jesus on a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. When a “furious squall came up,” the disciples—among them some seasoned fishermen—were afraid for their lives (4:37-38). Did God not care? Weren’t they handpicked by Jesus and closest to Him? Weren’t they obeying Jesus who told them to “go over to the other side”? (v. 35). Why, then, were they going through such a turbulent time? No one is exempt from the storms of life. But just as the disciples who initially feared the storm later came to revere Christ more, so the storms we face can bring us to a deeper knowledge of God. “Who is this,” the disciples pondered, “even the wind and the waves obey him!” (v. 41). Through our trials we can learn that no storm is big enough to prevent God from accomplishing His will (5:1). While we may not understand why God allows trials to enter our lives, we thank Him that through them we can come to know who He is. We live to serve Him because He has preserved our lives. —Albert Lee Lord, I know I don’t need to fear the storms of life around me. Help me to be calm because I stand secure in You. The storms of life prove the strength of our anchor. INSIGHT: In Mark 4:35-5:43 the gospel writer tells of four miracles to prove that Jesus is “the Messiah, the Son of God” and therefore has absolute authority over the forces of this physical world (4:35-41), over the powers of the spiritual world (5:1-20), over physical illnesses (5:24-34), and over death (5:35-43). These miracles were designed to answer the question, “Who is this?” (4:41). The first miracle was Jesus calming the storm on Galilee. Because the Sea of Galilee is in a basin about 700 feet below sea level and is surrounded by mountains, sudden and violent storms are common (v. 37). That Jesus was tired and soundly asleep showed that He was fully human (v. 38); that the storm instantly obeyed Him showed He was divine (v. 39). Sim Kay Tee

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As we are fast approaching the end of October I just want to Celebrate and Honor those that have been affected by Breast Cancer 1 in 8 Women will be diagnose with Breast Cancer in their Lifetime so let's take a moment to Celebrate ALL the Men & Women this October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Thank you for rallying last month!

Here is our CCFA October 2015 Newsletter on ALL things Crohn's related. A Letter from the President & CEO As you know, advocacy is an important part of our mission – so I can't thank you enough for taking action last month. As a result of the September Action Alert, more than 844 letters were sent to legislators asking them to express support for medical research on IBD. Your advocacy came at a critical time for legislators to intervene in fiscal year 2016 spending negotiations. Thank you for standing up for the IBD community! What's next? Ask your House Representative to join the Congressional Crohn's and Colitis Caucus and support IBD policy priorities. If your Representative is already a member, thank them for their crucial support. You can also reach out to your local CCFA chapter to work with other advocates and even organize visits to local legislators. Remember: there is strength in numbers – make your voice heard! Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Thank you again, Michael Osso Michael Osso President & CEO Change Your Life and the Lives of Others “It was so much more than I ever imagined it could be. It wasn't a training group, it was a support group.” – Missy, Team Challenge 2015 Alumni Are you looking for a support system? A way to fight back? Want to help someone you love affected by IBD? Then Team Challenge is a great place to start. Click here to learn how Mary and her daughter Jessica are conquering Crohn's through Team Challenge, and join us as we take on the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10k or the magical Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Hurry – teams are forming now! Learn more ► Spin4™ Crohn's and Colitis Cures During Awareness Week Take action by joining CCFA's newest event during Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week. Spin4 crohn's and colitis cures™ is an exciting high-energy indoor cycling event taking place on December 5th. Join us at studios in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Maryland/DC, New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle, or “Ride Where You Live” and create your own event with friends and family. Visit www.spin4.org to get started. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. Act now ► Help fund critical IBD research Your generosity helps us advocate for IBD research in Washington, fund groundbreaking studies, and provide compassionate support to patients nationwide. Donate now Calling All College Leaders If you'd still like to apply to the National Council of College Leaders, you're in luck! The deadline has been extended to October 28th. This is a great opportunity for students to take a leadership role in building awareness about IBD while also building their resume. Current Freshmen and Sophomores are welcome to apply. Download the application from CCFA's Campus Connection website today. Need Better Health Insurance? Getting access to affordable healthcare can be challenging for those who need it most. However, recent reform is helping people find quality coverage all in one place. In The Health Insurance Marketplace, you can see all your options, compare plans, and submit an application. Learn more or contact our IBD Help Center at info@ccfa.org. Upcoming Webcast: Understanding IBD Treatment Options Understanding your disease and its treatments is an important way to participate as a member of your healthcare team. Join us on October 29 for a discussion of current treatment options, special considerations and risks, and monitoring your treatment and communicating with your healthcare team. Sign up today! ► Search our resources Find your chapter IBD Clinical Trials and 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 Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of investigational product for the induction of symptomatic and endoscopic remission in subjects with moderately to severely active Crohn's disease who have inadequately responded to or are intolerant to anti-TNF therapy by AbbVie Genetics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Sex Differences in Statural Growth in pediatric Crohn's Disease, sponsored by Weill Cornell Medical College Deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial is an important personal decision, best made with a full understanding of the drug development process and a participant's role. Take Steps Team Challenge CCFA Facebook CCFA Twitter CCFA YouTube CCFA Pinterest Forward Donate to CCFA Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 www.ccfa.org | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423 Talk with an I​BD Info​rmation Specialist at 88​8.M​y.Gu​t.P​ain | 8​88-​69​4-8​87​2

Hidden in My Heart

So here we are once again getting ready to start a New Week and wrapping up a whole month with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 119:9-16 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 9-11; 1 Timothy 6 I have hidden your word in my heart. —Psalm 119:11 I’m getting used to reading digital magazines, and I feel good that I’m saving trees. Plus, I don’t have to wait for the magazines to come in the mail. I do, however, miss the print editions because I like to run my fingers through the glossy pages and cut out my favorite recipes. I also have a digital edition of the Bible on my reading device. But I still have my favorite printed Bible—the one I have underlined and read many times. We don’t know the future of the printed page, but one thing we do know: The best place for God’s Word is not on our cell phones, electronic reading devices, or bedside table. In Psalm 119 we read about treasuring the Scriptures in our hearts: “I have hidden your word in my heart” (v. 11). Nothing compares to pondering God’s Word, learning more of Him, and putting it into practice in our daily lives. The best place for His Word lies deep in our souls. We may have many excuses for not reading, meditating, or memorizing, but we need God’s Word. I pray that God will help us store His Word in the best place possible—our hearts. —Keila Ochoa Lord, give me the desire to read Your Word. Then implant it in my heart and thoughts and help me live it out. The best place for God’s Word is our hearts. INSIGHT: Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, celebrating God’s law and its importance. Today’s passage is one of the most well known in Scripture. Verse 11 is often quoted and memorized and spells out the outcome of knowing the Bible: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Having knowledge about God is not enough. Knowing and meditating on God’s law is what leads to changed behavior. J.R. Hudberg

Friday, October 23, 2015

For This I Have Jesus

Here we are we have made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! and it's time to take a moment to reflect on this past week with these words of wisdom Read: Isaiah 49:13-20 Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 1-2; 1 Timothy 3 The Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. —Isaiah 49:13 There is rarely a problem-free season in our lives, but sometimes the onslaught is terrifying. Rose saw her entire family, except for her two little daughters, slaughtered in the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. Now she is a widow among many widows with little money. But she refuses to be defeated. She has adopted two orphans and simply trusts God to provide for the food and school fees for her family of five. She translates Christian literature into the local language and organizes an annual conference for other widows. Rose wept as she told me her story. But for every problem in her life she has one simple remedy. “For this,” she said, “I have Jesus.” God knows exactly what you are facing today. Isaiah reminds us that God’s knowledge of us is so intimate that it is as if our names were written on the palms of His hands (Isa. 49:16). We may sometimes neglect the needs of others, even those who are closest to us, but God is aware of every detail of our lives. And He has given us His Spirit to guide, to comfort, and to strengthen us. Think of the challenges you face at this moment, and then write these words beside each one as a reminder of His faithfulness and care: “For this, I have Jesus.” —Marion Stroud Thank You, Jesus, for being near to me right now. I’m grateful for Your faithfulness. Life takes on perspective in the light of Christ. INSIGHT: The book of Isaiah is a book of extremes. In chapters 1-2 Isaiah describes how far away from God the people of Israel have wandered. In chapter 3 he warns of the punishment and judgment that is coming because of their sin and disobedience. Later he discusses God’s provision to bring them back to Himself (ch. 4) and how much they will flourish despite the current and coming disasters (ch. 49). In God’s eyes there is always hope for redemption, restoration, and blessing. J.R. Hudberg

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mary's Team Challenge Stories - Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

Here is a Team Challenge story about Mary. Mary's Story starts Thirteen years ago, Mary was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. She was a busy mom with six children, and did not have time to be sick. She told very few people about her diagnosis. That all changed in 2014 when her eight-year-old daughter, Jessica, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It was no longer just about Mary's own disease. Mary also wanted to make a difference for her daughter, so she joined Team Challenge. After completing her fundraising faster than she ever imagined, and meeting friends at training that become an instant support group, Mary knew she was hooked and signed up for another Team Challenge season. Join her in New Orleans and be a part of IBD cures

Monday, October 12, 2015

HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!

Just want to wish everyone a HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY! May this day be filled with Reflection, Relaxing, and Refreshing to the Soul. Here is a report done by USA TODAY on Columbus Day entitled More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day. ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — More cities are recognizing Native Americans on Columbus Day this year as they revive a movement to change the name of the holiday to celebrate the history and contributions of indigenous cultures around the country. As the U.S. observes Columbus Day on Monday, it will also be Indigenous Peoples Day in at least nine cities for the first time this year, including Albuquerque; Portland, Ore.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Olympia, Wash. Encouraged by city council votes in Minneapolis and Seattle last year, Native American activists made a push in dozens of cities in recent months to get local leaders to officially recognize the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Their success was mixed. The campaigns say the federal holiday honoring Christopher Columbus — and the parades and pageantry accompanying it — overlook a painful history of colonialism, enslavement, discrimination and land grabs that followed the Italian explorer’s 1492 arrival in the Americas. The indigenous holiday takes into account the history and contributions of Native Americans for a more accurate historical record, activists have argued. Columbus Day supporters say the holiday celebrates centuries of cultural exchange between America and Europe, commemorates an iconic explorer and honors Italian-Americans, a group that has endured its own share of discrimination. “For the Native community here, Indigenous Peoples Day means a lot. We actually have something,” said Nick Estes of Albuquerque, who is coordinating a celebration Monday after the City Council recently issued a proclamation. “We understand it’s just a proclamation, but at the same time, we also understand this is the beginning of something greater.” Native Americans are the nation’s smallest demographic, making up about 2 percent of the U.S. population. In recent decades, a significant number of tribal members have moved from reservations to urban areas, where a large majority live today. The shift makes the cities’ resolutions and proclamations more meaningful, Estes said. Congress set aside the second Monday of October as a federal holiday honoring Columbus in 1934. Over the years, Native Americans have slowly begun winning more recognition around the day. South Dakota renamed Columbus Day to Native American Day in 1990, and it has been an official state holiday ever since. Berkeley, California, has observed Indigenous Peoples Day since 1992. Parades and festivals that developed around Columbus Day have faced protests that are known for being confrontational, especially in Denver. Anna Vann, a longtime member of the Sons of Italy’s Denver Lodge, recalls protests during the 1992 parade, which marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage, as the most unnerving and pivotal. That year, protesters blocked the parade route for several hours, she said. After that, the parade wasn’t held again until 2000, and it has been difficult to make it the draw it once was, she said. “It’s been a struggle to even get people to come and attend the parades as spectators,” Vann said. “It’s a celebration of when the Europeans came over and started their lives here. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for this history.” The renewed push for Indigenous Peoples Day carries the sentiment of past decades’ protests against Columbus, but it has proven less confrontational, with advocates instead finding traction at City Hall. “They really didn’t prove anything,” Rey Garduno, an Albuquerque city councilman and longtime community organizer, said of the confrontational protests. “Whatever victory people took from them, you still ended up at the end of the day in the same place or even worse.”

Not My Worry

So here we are starting a New Week the weekend has come an gone as we prepare are selves for this new week ahead let's take a moment and reflect on Gods goodness with these words of wisdom Read: Isaiah 40:25-31 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 39-40; Colossians 4 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. —Psalm 55:22 A man worried constantly about everything. Then one day his friends heard him whistling happily and looking noticeably relaxed. “What happened?” they asked him in astonishment. He said, “I’m paying a man to do my worrying for me.” “How much do you pay him?” they asked. “Two thousand dollars a week,” he replied. “Wow! How can you afford that?” “I can’t,” he said, “but that’s his worry.” While this humorous way to handle stress doesn’t work in real life, as God’s children we can turn our worries over to Someone who has everything perfectly under control even—especially—when we feel it is not. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God brings out the stars and calls them all by name (40:25-26). Because of “his great power and mighty strength” not one of them is missing (v. 26). And just as God knows the stars by name, He knows us individually and personally. We are each under His watchful care (v. 27). If we are inclined to worry, we can turn that worry over to the Lord. He is never too weary or too tired to pay attention to us. He has all wisdom and all power, and He loves to use it on our behalf. The Holy One who directs the stars has His loving arms around us. —Poh Fang Chia Lord, You know there are times when I get really scared. And I forget that You have promised that You will never leave me to face difficulty or loss alone. Help me to trust. Worry ends where faith begins. INSIGHT: The title “the Holy One” or “the Holy One of Israel” is the common designation for God in Isaiah, occurring about 26 times. This title is often accompanied by other names, such as “the Lord Almighty” (5:24; 47:4), “the Light of Israel” (10:17), “the Mighty God” (10:21), “Maker” (17:7; 45:11; 54:5), “the Sovereign Lord” (30:15), “Savior” (43:3), “Israel’s Creator, your King” (43:15), and “the God of all the earth” (54:5). In calling God “the Holy One of Israel,” Isaiah extols His complete holiness. Yet within the same breath Isaiah speaks of God as the “Redeemer,” celebrating His tender mercy and compassion (41:14; 54:5; 59:20; 60:16). Sim Kay Tee

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Song of Our Lives

Here we are we have made it to the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! with these words of wisdom Read: Job 29:1-6; 30:1-9 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 32-33; Colossians 1 The Lord God is my strength and my song. —Isaiah 12:2 Everyone touched by a piece of music hears it differently. The composer hears it in the chamber of his imagination. The audience hears it with their senses and emotions. The members of the orchestra hear most clearly the sound of the instruments closest to them. In a sense, we are the members of God’s orchestra. Often we hear only the music closest to us. Because we don’t hear a balanced work, we are like Job who cried as he suffered: “Now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them” (Job 30:9). Job recalled how princes and officials had respected him. His life was “awash in cream, and the rocks gushed olive oil for me” (29:6 nlt). But now, he had become the target of mockers. “My harp plays sad music,” he lamented (30:31 nlt). Yet there was much, much more to the symphony. Job simply couldn’t hear the whole song. Maybe today you can hear only the sad notes of your own violin. Don’t lose heart. Every detail in your life is part of God’s composition. Or perhaps you are listening to a cheerful flute. Praise God for it and share your joy with someone else. God’s masterpiece of redemption is the symphony we are playing, and ultimately everything will work together for His good purposes. God is the composer of our lives. His song is perfect, and we can trust Him. —Keila Ochoa Lord, help me to trust You, especially when my life seems discordant and out of tune. I thank You because I’m part of Your symphony and Your song is perfect. Faith in God’s goodness puts a song in the heart. INSIGHT: Job’s world had been turned upside down, having lost his wealth (1:14-17), his family (1:18-19), and his health (2:7). Even as he reached an impasse with his three friends while trying to unravel the real reasons for his suffering and pain (chs. 3-31), Job was trying to come to terms with the consequences of his physical and financial losses. Spiritually, he felt that God had abandoned him (29:1-5); emotionally, he was deprived of happiness and enjoyment (29:5-6); and socially, he had lost his standing, power, respect, and honor (30:1-9). Despite his many questions, Job proclaimed his trust in the sovereign God (42:1-6). Sim Kay Tee

Monday, October 5, 2015

Seconds Count

Here we are the weekend as come and gone and we are starting a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 39:4-13 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23-25; Philippians 1 Show me, Lord, my life’s end. —Psalm 39:4 At the age of 59 my friend Bob Boardman wrote, “If the 70 years of a normal life span were squeezed into a single 24-hour day, it would now be 8:30 in the evening in my life. . . . Time is slipping by so rapidly.” The difficulty in admitting that our time on earth is limited inspired the creation of “Tikker”—a wristwatch that tells you what time it is, calculates your estimated normal life span, and displays a running countdown of your remaining time. It is advertised as the watch “that counts down your life, just so you can make every second count.” In Psalm 39, David grappled with the brevity of his life, saying, “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is” (v. 4). He described his life span as no longer than the width of his hand, as only a moment to God, and merely a breath (v. 5). David concluded, “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (v. 7). The clock is ticking. Now is the time to seek God’s power to help us become the people He wants us to be. Finding hope in our eternal God gives meaning for our lives today. —David McCasland In what ways am I wasting time? In what ways am I making my days count? In what areas do I need to make changes? The time to live for Jesus is now. INSIGHT: One reason the Psalms are loved by so many is that they often capture the real emotion of people facing real situations. It gives many of us comfort to know that we are not alone in our struggles and reactions to life. In today’s psalm, David comments on the brevity of life and has an understandable reaction. When we look back on our lives, many of us lament our mistakes and wasted efforts. But David reminds us that in the face of all our sins, it is God who remains our hope. No matter how much of a mess we have made of our lives, it is never too much of a mess for God to redeem. J.R. Hudberg

Friday, October 2, 2015

We Have Fruit!

So here we are we have entered into the 10th Month of the New Year which is October and ended the New Week as we continue to move forward let's take a moment to reflect on this words of wisdom Read: Joshua 24:2,8-14 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5:1-16 I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build. —Joshua 24:13 The young mother sighed as she scraped together lunch for her 3-year-old daughter. Spying the empty fruit basket on the table in their tiny kitchen, she sighed and said aloud, “If we just had a basket of fruit, I would feel rich!” Her little girl overheard her. Weeks passed. God sustained the small family. Still, the struggling mom worried. Then one day her little girl bounded into the kitchen. “Look, Mommy, we’re rich!” she exclaimed, pointing at the full fruit basket on the table. Nothing had changed except that the family had purchased a bag of apples. When Joshua, the leader of the Israelites, was about to die, he shared a message from the Lord that recounted all God had done for them. And he noted, “You lived in the wilderness for a long time” (Josh. 24:7). Then he said, “[God] gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant” (v. 13). Joshua set up a large stone to remind Israel of God’s provision (v. 26). Like the Israelites, after a time of challenge and scarcity, that family now lives in a different place and enjoys fruit trees in a spacious yard, planted years earlier by a previous owner. If you visit them, you’ll find a bowl of fruit in their kitchen. It reminds them of God’s goodness and how a 3-year-old infused her family with faith, joy, and perspective. —Tim Gustafson Thank God for how He has provided in the past. Thank Him for what He will do. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Then trust Him. Remembering God’s provision for yesterday gives hope and strength for today. INSIGHT: In Genesis 15, God promised Abraham that He would give his descendants possession of a great stretch of land that was occupied by other people. Several hundred years later, under the leadership of Joshua, God fulfilled His promise, and the people of Israel took possession of the Promised Land. In today’s passage, Joshua reminds the Israelites that it was not by their own military might that they did this, but it was God who gave them the land. As a result of God’s provision (defeating the armies of the other people), Joshua reminded them to fear and serve the Lord. J.R. Hudberg