So here we are at the end of August the Eighth Month of the New Year this week we will be entering into the 9th month of the New Year BOY! Time is moving, so as we take a moment to reflect on that here is some food for thought. Read: Luke 9:57-62
Bible in a Year: Psalms 132-134; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3:16
For many years I spoke to my distant cousin about our need of a Savior. When he visited me recently and I once again urged him to receive Christ, his immediate response was: “I would like to accept Jesus and join the church, but not yet. I live among people of other faiths. Unless I relocate, I will not be able to practice my faith well.” He cited persecution, ridicule, and pressure from his peers as excuses to postpone his decision.
His fears were legitimate, but I assured him that whatever happened, God would not abandon him. I encouraged my cousin not to delay but to trust God for care and protection. He gave up his defenses, acknowledged his need of Christ’s forgiveness, and trusted Him as his personal Savior.
When Jesus invited people to follow Him, they too offered excuses—all about being busy with the cares of this world (Luke 9:59-62). The Lord’s answer to them (vv. 60-62) urges us not to let excuses deprive us of the most important thing in life: the salvation of our souls.
Do you hear God calling you to commit your life to Him? Do not delay. “Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). —Lawrence Darmani
Come to the Savior, make no delay—here in His Word He’s shown us the way; here in our midst He’s standing today, tenderly saying, “Come!” George F. Root
Today is the day of salvation.
INSIGHT: Although large crowds followed Jesus wherever He went (Luke 5:15; 8:42; 9:11; 14:25), Jesus knew that not all who followed Him were genuine disciples (John 6:66). Jesus taught often of the radical commitment needed if we want to follow Him. We are to love Him above all else, even our own life (Mark 10:17-22; Luke 9:23-27). In today’s passage, Jesus warns that following Him may not be easy and comfortable. It requires precedence over all other relationships, a single-minded focus, wholehearted pursuit, and an undivided commitment (vv. 59-62). God in His great mercy has given every believer the Holy Spirit to help us live a life that is pleasing to Him. Sim Kay Tee
On Yesterday August 28, 2015 Shania Twain turned 50. Shania Twain was born on August 28, 1965 the Country Singer will be Celebrating her 50th Birthday so I just wanted to take a moment to Wish my Favorite Country Singer Shania Twain a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! #ShaniaTwain
Shania Twain - Dance With The One That Brought You
Shania Twain - Man! I Feel Like A Woman
ROCK THIS COUNTRY SHANIA TWAIN LIVE SPRINT CENTER KANSAS CITY MO 8 7 2015
As we are gearing up for the end of the week let's take a moment to reflect on all that as transpired in our lives YES! It's FRIDAY! Thank You for allowing me to see another week with these words of wisdom. Read: Hebrews 3:1-6
Bible in a Year: Psalms 123-125; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18
Think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God’s messenger and High Priest. —Hebrews 3:1
A recent book that puts a fictional flavor on a slice of US history portrays Old West gunslingers Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday as shiftless bums. In an interview with National Public Radio, the author said of the real Earp, “He didn’t do anything remarkable his whole life, ever.” Through the years, in books and Hollywood movies, they’ve become heroes. Yet reputable historical accounts show that they were not.
In contrast, the Bible is full of flawed people who became real heroes. But don’t lose sight of the vital source of their heroic actions. The object of their faith was God, who chooses flawed human beings for His remarkable purposes.
As biblical heroes go, Moses stands tall. We tend to forget that he was a murderer and a reluctant leader who once directed a rant at God: “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly?” he demanded. “What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people? Did I give birth to them?” (Num. 11:11-12 nlt).
How very human of Moses! And yet Hebrews reminds us: “Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later” (Heb. 3:5 nlt).
Real heroes point to the Hero who never disappoints. “Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses” (v. 3 nlt). —Tim Gustafson
Lord, thank You for being the only Hero we can rely on without fail. Help us not to conceal our flaws and mistakes, but to give them to You. We trust You to use us for Your good purpose.
Looking for someone who won’t disappoint you? Look to Jesus
INSIGHT: The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Jewish Christians who were facing persecution and hardship for their faith and who were now in danger of drifting away and reverting back to Judaism. The writer warns them against abandoning Christ (2:1-3; 3:7-15; 6:4-6; 10:26-31) and presents the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus as Savior. Jesus is superior to the angels (chs. 1-2), to Moses (chs. 3-4), and to the Aaronic priesthood (chs. 5-7), and He is the perfect High Priest (chs. 8-10). In today’s passage Moses is compared with Christ. While Moses was one of God’s most faithful servants, Jesus is far greater than Moses because Jesus is God’s Son (vv. 5-6). Sim Kay Tee
We are starting a New Week with Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
Bible in a Year: Psalms 116-118; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19
>Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble. —2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When my sister Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer, our family worried. That diagnosis, with its surgeries and treatments, caused us to fear for her well-being, which drove our family to prayer on her behalf. Over the ensuing months, Carole’s updates were honest about the challenges. But we all celebrated when the report came back that the surgery and treatments had been successful. Carole was on the road to recovery!
Then, less than a year later, my sister Linda faced the same battle. Immediately, Carole came alongside Linda, helping her understand what to expect and how to prepare for what she would face. Carole’s experience had equipped her to walk with Linda through her own trial.
This is what Paul calls for in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, where we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t waste anything. Our struggles not only give us an opportunity to experience His comfort, but they also open the door for us to share that comfort with others in their struggles. —Bill Crowder
Today, how can I be an encouragement to others whose hearts are weighed down by the cares of life?
God’s presence brings us comfort; our presence brings others comfort.
INSIGHT: This passage demonstrates how our personal pain can help others who suffer. Paul uses the word comfort both vertically and horizontally. God extends comfort to us. We experience His comfort. Then we can offer comfort to others. In this way, our pain can become a conduit of care for those in distress and lead to gratitude in the midst of pain. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” (v. 3). Dennis Fisher
Ok, Ok, Ok I know but I just have to do it I am FANGIRLING Right Now over the Backstreet Boys BUT ALL Jokes aside Wishing Howie Dorough or Better known to millions as "Sweet D" of the Backstreet Boys a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! May God Bless U with many More.
Backstreet Boys - In a World Like This
Backstreet Boys - Drowning
Backstreet Boys - All I Have To Give
So here we are at the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! with these words of wisdom to help us reflect on ALL that GOD has done for us. Read: 1 Kings 19:19-21
Bible in a Year: Psalms 107-109; 1 Corinthians 4
Whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. —Matthew 16:25
As a child, my favorite week of the summer was the one I spent at a Christian youth camp. At the end of the week, I’d sit elbow-to-elbow with friends in front of an enormous bonfire. There, we would share what we had learned about God and the Bible and sing. One song I still remember focused on deciding to follow Jesus. The chorus contained an important phrase: “no turning back.”
When Elisha decided to follow the prophet Elijah, Elisha did something incredible that made it difficult, impossible really, for him to return to his prior occupation of farming. After going home and having a farewell banquet, Elisha “took a yoke of oxen and slaughtered them” (1 Kings 19:21). Leaving his way of life, he burned up his plowing equipment. He roasted the freshly butchered meat over the blaze and fed everyone present. Then “[Elisha] arose and followed Elijah, and became his servant” (v. 21).
Giving ourselves to God, who deserves our devotion, often comes with a price. At times, it means making difficult decisions about relationships, finances, and living arrangements. However, nothing compares with what we gain when we continue on with Christ. Jesus said, “Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:25). —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Father, help me to see if there’s something You want me to leave behind to follow You completely.
Jesus is looking for fulltime followers.
INSIGHT: It is often difficult to understand the significance of some events in Scripture without a knowledge of the cultural context. Today’s story of Elijah and Elisha is an example of this. Two elements that carry significance are the placing of the cloak on Elisha (19:19 niv) and the slaughtering of the oxen to feed the people (v. 21). The placing of the cloak represented a significant calling. A person could not simply choose to be Elijah’s apprentice; that person was chosen and it was a great honor. The slaughtering of the oxen, the burning of the plowing equipment, and the feeding of the people signified a deliberate leaving of Elisha’s former life to follow Elijah. It was a public statement of Elisha’s new identity. J.R. Hudberg
Here is Jake Diekman Story about how he is fighting against UC.When he's on the mound, Jake Diekman is a force to be reckoned with. During his 2014 season with the Philadelphia Phillies, the left-handed relief pitcher struck out 100 batters -- the seventh most by any major league reliever -- in 71 innings. Externally, at 6-foot-4-inches and 200 pounds, Diekman looks healthy and fit. Internally, he struggles with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that he has lived with for the past 18 years.
When Diekman was 11-years-old, he became extremely ill following a family trip to California. His family originally thought he had water poisoning, but two weeks after returning home, he was still sick. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
Last year during the off-season, Diekman's ulcerative colitis flared up. While staying at his Nebraska home, he began to feel irritable, overheated, and sluggish. He then lost 20 pounds over two weeks -- a lot for anyone, but especially for a pitcher who depends on his weight to help generate power. Diekman knew he needed to "gut it out" and take control of his disease.
"I was like, this is enough, I'm tired of it," Diekman said to The News Journal in February. "It [stinks] to see little kids that have it in the hospital and their bodies can't handle it because their system is so weak that they're in the hospital for three or four months at a time." He had the phrase "Gut It Out" tattooed on the inside of his right wrist and, after speaking with his agent at Beverly Hills Sports Council, worked with Athlete's Brand to design a "Gut It Out" t-shirt. The t-shirts went on sale in March and quickly reached Diekman's fundraising goal of $7,000, with the proceeds going to CCFA. The shirts have raised nearly $9,000 for CCFA to date, and the shirts, which were supposed to be available for a limited time only, are now available from Athlete's Brand through the end of the year.
"'Gut It Out' hits home for people with inflammatory bowel disease because of where the disease is located and how debilitating it can be," Diekman says. "Having IBD can be really painful. It's a day-to-day disease you have to deal with. That's why you have to gut it out each day. No matter what your problem is, somebody has it worse. Life could be a lot worse."
Diekman's commitment to CCFA extends beyond his t-shirt fundraiser. He started engaging directly with other IBD patients and some lucky patients and supporters joined him for a meet and greet on July 17th, prior to a Phillies game. Many CCFA members attended that game and a portion of the ticket sales was donated back to CCFA. Diekman has organized similar opportunities at other ballparks across the country to benefit CCFA while on the road, including the Colorado Rockies. CCFA's Philadelphia Chapter has also benefited from fantastic donations from Diekman and the Phillies for their local fundraising events.
Diekman, who was recently traded to the Texas Rangers, has gained back the weight he lost during the off-season thanks to medication infusions, which he will receive every two months for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately this isn't the end of his battle with ulcerative colitis, as he will live with it for the rest of his life. But as long as he continues to "gut it out," he'll keep pushing forward. Diekman's "Gut It Out" shirts are available for purchase here. You can also find Jake on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Here is CCFA 2015 Newsletter for the month of August from our New President & CEO. Providing Hope and Inspiring Action | CCFA
AUGUST 2015 ISSUE
A Letter From the President & CEO
I cannot tell you how happy I am to be serving as your new President & CEO, especially as we begin our first-ever Members Match. Right now, every dollar you give will be doubled up to $130,000 by a generous donor, and have twice the impact on curing IBD.
Recently, two brave siblings, Morgan and Harrison Rook, shared their IBD story for our Members Match. They said, "If we raise enough money, we can stop this disease." As a friend of CCFA, I know you agree. Please join the fight against IBD and instantly double your support today.
Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO
President & CEO
Gut it Out: Jake Diekman’s Story
At 6-foot-4-inches and 200 pounds, professional baseball player Jake Diekman looks healthy and fit, but he has struggled with ulcerative colitis for 18 years. When Jake experienced a severe flare-up last year, he knew he needed to “gut it out” and take control. Shortly after, Diekman designed the “Gut It Out” t-shirt fundraiser, raising nearly $9,000 for CCFA. Diekman's "Gut It Out" shirts are available for purchase here. You can also find Jake on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.
Read more ►
College life with IBD
Some college students have concerns about managing IBD while away at school. Establishing a 504 plan with a school’s disability office is one way to help. Under this legislation, all government-funded institutions are required to make reasonable modifications for students with disabilities, including providing dorms with close bathroom access, later classes, and test accommodations.
Want to know more? Visit CCFA’s Campus Connections for useful advice, including tips for adjusting to college life, connecting with other IBD students, and more! Contact our IBD Help Center for additional information at email@example.com.
Learn more ►
Stay Informed: Immunizations
While adults and children with IBD should generally follow the same vaccination schedules as the general population, people on medications that suppress the immune system (such as corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and anti-TNF therapies) should NOT receive live virus vaccines. With this in mind, the best time to vaccinate is when someone is newly diagnosed with IBD, before immunosuppressive therapy has begun. You should always discuss the risk and benefits of any vaccine with your doctor.
To learn more, read our fact sheet on immunizations and IBD or reach out to the IBD Help Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more ►
Double Your Impact
Your gift to CCFA right now will go twice as far in the fight against IBD. Join our Members Match and double your generosity up to $130,000!
Be an IBD Superhero!
Take Steps has launched Be an IBD Superhero! With an estimated 80,000 children living with IBD, this youth walk program encourages understanding of chronic illness and physical wellness for students of all ages.
To find out how you can bring the IBD Superhero program to your child’s school, email email@example.com.
Learn more ►
Webcast: Diagnosing and Monitoring IBD
Join our webcast on, Wednesday September 16th at 8-9 PM EST, as we discuss with a medical expert what to expect from the diagnostics and monitoring of IBD. You’ll also learn about helpful resources and important questions to ask your healthcare team to better manage your disease.
Register 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:
An Open-Label Phase 3b Study to Assess Mucosal Healing in subjects with moderately to severely active Crohn's Disease treated with vedolizumab IV sponsored by Takeda
Sex Differences in Statural Growth Impairment 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
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The weekend as come to an end and we are starting a New Week with
Read: John 6:22-34
Bible in a Year: Psalms 97-99; Romans 16
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life. —John 6:27
One morning as Lilia prepared for work, her 4-year-old daughter Jess set to work too. The family had purchased a conveyor toaster, and the concept of cycling bread through the small countertop oven fascinated Jess. Minutes later, Lilia discovered a loaf and a half of toast piled on the counter. “I’m a very good baker!” Jess declared.
It’s no miracle that an inquisitive girl could turn bread into toast. But when Jesus transformed a boy’s five loaves and two fish into a meal for thousands, the crowd on the hillside recognized the miraculous nature of the event and wanted to make Him king (see John 6:1-15).
Jesus’ kingdom, of course, is “not of this world” (John 18:36), and so He slipped away. When the crowd found Him the next day, Christ identified a flaw in their motives: “You seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (6:26). They mistakenly thought “King” Jesus would give them full stomachs and national freedom. But Jesus counseled them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (v. 27).
An earthbound view will cause us to treat Jesus as a means to an end. He is, in fact, our Bread of Life. —Tim Gustafson
Lord, our cares and worries can keep us from a genuine relationship with You. May we see You as our very food and not only as our divine problem-solver.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. Jesus
So here we are at the end of our week YES! It's FRIDAY! we end the week with these words of wisdom Read: John 9:1-7
Bible in a Year: Psalms 89-90; Romans 14
Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world.” —John 8:12
We remember Albert Einstein for more than his disheveled hair, big eyes, and witty charm. We know him as the genius and physicist who changed the way we see the world. His famous formula of E=mc2 revolutionized scientific thought and brought us into the nuclear age. Through his “Special Theory of Relativity” he reasoned that since everything in the universe is in motion, all knowledge is a matter of perspective. He believed that the speed of light is the only constant by which we can measure space, time, or physical mass.
Long before Einstein, Jesus talked about the role of light in understanding our world, but from a different perspective. To support His claim to be the Light of the World (John 8:12), Jesus healed a man who had been blind from birth (9:6). When the Pharisees accused Christ of being a sinner, this grateful man said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (v. 25).
While Einstein’s ideas would later be proven difficult to test, Jesus’ claims can be tested. We can spend time with Jesus in the Gospels. We can invite Him into our daily routine. We can see for ourselves that He can change our perspective on everything. —Mart DeHaan
Lord Jesus, You are the one constant in this chaotic world. Thank You for being the one true Light that the darkness can never extinguish.
Only as we walk in Christ’s light can we live in His love.
INSIGHT: In comparison to the other gospels, the gospel of John is sparse in recording Jesus’ miracles. John records only seven miracles, but he does so for a specific purpose. In John 20:30-31 he writes: “Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Several of the miracles that John recorded pair with a significant statement about Jesus’ identity. After He fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish (6:1-13), He claimed to be “the bread of life” (v. 35). He said He was the “light of the world” (8:12) and then healed the man born blind (ch. 9). People believed in Jesus as the Messiah in response to His miracles (6:14; 9:38). J.R. Hudberg
Here we are jump starting a new week the weekend has come an gone and we are gearing up for this week with these words of wisdom Read: James 1:19-27
Bible in a Year: Psalms 79-80; Romans 11:1-18
Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. —James 1:22
Reporter Jacob Riis’s vivid descriptions of poverty in 19th-century New York City horrified a generally complacent public. His book How the Other Half Lives combined his writing with his own photographs to paint a picture so vivid that the public could not escape the certainty of poverty’s desperate existence. The third of fifteen children himself, Riis wrote so effectively because he had lived in that world of terrible despair.
Shortly after the release of his book, he received a card from a young man just beginning his political career. The note read simply, “I have read your book, and I have come to help. Theodore Roosevelt.” (This politician later became a US President.)
True faith responds to the needs of others, according to James (1:19-27). May our hearts be moved from inaction to action, from words alone to deeds that back them up. Compassionate action not only aids those mired in life’s difficulties, but it may also make them open to the greater message from our Savior who sees their need and can do so much more for them. —Randy Kilgore
O Lord, it is so easy to be overwhelmed, or to judge and therefore to refrain from helping others. Lift our eyes above our own thoughts and circumstances, and let us care as You care.
Others will know what the words “God is love” mean when they see it in our lives.
INSIGHT: James’s letter was written to people enduring difficult times. In James 1:1 we read, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.” The “twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” were Jewish followers of Christ who had been driven from their homes in Jerusalem by persecution. Many of them had lost everything because of their faith in Christ, and they were struggling. Perhaps that is why James spoke so passionately about caring for orphans and widows (1:27) and the poor (ch.2). Because the believers had suffered so much themselves, they should have understood the importance of responding to the needs of others. Bill Crowder
Ok! I hear you LOUD and CLEAR PURPLE ARMY. So I just wanted to take a moment to expound on this decision that Prince as made. As many of you may know Prince is slated to be dropping his latest New Album which is called HITNRUN on September 7, 2015 Exclusively to TIDAL...PUMP YOUR BREAKS...STOP IT! You don't say so here is where I want to expound on this YES! I'm SUPER EXCITED! that Prince is releasing new music BUT I'm so NOT in agreement with this and let me tell you why FIRST Things First (no pound intend Prince) YES! I LOVE U Prince BUT not like I LOVE my CD'S and others ways of getting music to your loyal supporters. I don't ALWAYS agree with some of the decision Prince as made in regards to this, now YES!, I have supported ALL other decision he has made on becoming an Emancipated Artist and owning his MASTER and Intellectual Copyrights BUT this is NOT one I'm totally in agreement with here's why we ALL know that the music industry is constantly changing and people won't there music FAST with the influx of streaming, digital downloads, MP3'S, i-tunes, and everything else that is out there to get music to us music lovers FAST, YES gone are the dayz of RADIO, CD'S and Vinyl's that some of us music lovers STILL cherish to this day I know I do BUT YES! I have come to accept that those dayz are gone and we are in a technology driven world there are simply other wayz we would LOVE to get the new music from the Purple Man himself BUT just not through TIDAL. Ok so here we go TIDAL started off I believe at the beginning of this year with Artist such as Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Daft Punk, Kaye West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and just recently if I'm not mistaken the legendary AC/DC have just logged on to TIDAL hears the break down WUZUP with this small group of Artist STOP and thinking about it IF ALL the supporters of ALL these artist's that I have just mentioned signed up to TIDAL at $10 that's an estimation of a Million or possible a Quarter of a Million dollars So my question is Who is Pocketing this Money is it the Artist or is it Jay-Z who is the Founder of Tidal? Ask yourself that question. OK, stay with Me Now PRINCE let's just say those that choose to sign-up to TIDAL to exclusively get the New HITNRUN Album it would go a little something like this let's say 5 people sign up to TIDAL at $10 that's $50 dollars OK let's say 10 people sign-up that's $100 dollars if 50 people sign-up that's $500 dollars is the picture becoming clearer to you are is it still fuzz to you OK than let me make it a little more clearer to you we know that Prince is an International Super-Star of a Musician who is really trying to find avenues to get the music to us BUT this avenue it's NOT the BEST way to go it seems like it is BUT when you look at the BIG picture it's not because like I stated above if a Million people sign-up to TIDAL that's a Million dollars will Prince see that money or will Jay-Z pocketed ALL of that. The BIG picture is Prince is an Icon and a Legend that will bring in revenue for Jay-Z'S TIDAL Company BUT will Prince see any revenue of his own by releasing this album exclusively to TIDAL You think about it and do the Math. My belief is Prince should start his own Streaming Music Service where he can Stream the Artist he wants such as 3RDEYEGIRL, LIV WARFIELD, NPGQ, and countless of other artist. We may NEVER know this could only be a Trial run bases with TIDAL NOT something LONG-TERM Hope NOT. TIDAL can NOT HOLD Prince's entire Catalog of Music Here is a video I would like to share by my Friend Jester.
PRINCE - TIDAL WAVE OF NEW FUNK (PHASEONE)
I agree with some of the things that my friend Jester has stated but not whole heartily because I know that there can be a better way for instance possible releasing it on a USB or like I have stated before create your own Streaming Music Service. Prince PLEASE Don't be a Pun in some one Else's game and PLEASE Don't let anyone get Rich off Your Legacy. Blessings and Love Queen Bee.
So here we are we have made it to the end of the week with Read: Philippians 1:1-11
Bible in a Year: Psalms 72-73; Romans 9:1-15
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more. —Philippians 1:9
Like many people, when I read a newspaper or magazine I notice the misteaks in grammar and spelling. (You saw that, didn’t you!) I’m not trying to find errors; they leap off the page at me! My usual reaction is to criticize the publication and the people who produce it. “Why don’t they use ‘spell check’ or hire a proofreader?”
You may have a similar experience in your area of expertise. It seems that often, the more we know about something, the more judgmental we become over mistakes. It can infect our relationships with people as well.
Yet Philippians 1:9 expresses a different approach. Paul wrote, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” God’s plan is that the more we know and understand, the more we love. Rather than cultivating a critical spirit and pretending we don’t notice or don’t care, our understanding should nourish empathy. Criticism is replaced by compassion.
Instead of our being faultfinders, the Lord calls us to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (v. 11).
When the Lord fills our hearts, we can overlook mistakes, hold our criticism, and love others, no matter how much we know about them! —David C. McCasland
Lord, by Your grace, please replace my critical spirit with Your love and compassion for others.
To err is human; to forgive, divine. Alexander Pope
INSIGHT: Notice the depth of love Paul has for his fellow believers at Philippi. This is seen in how he speaks to them and what he desires for them. He speaks as one who loves them and longs for them deeply (v. 8). His desires are seen in his prayers—that they will experience a growing yet wise love (v. 9), a discerning yet genuine spirit (v. 10), and a fruitful and Christ-honoring life (v. 11). These are great things we too can pray for in the lives of those we love and in our own lives as well. Bill Crowder
So here we are in the 8th Month of the New Year we have landed in the month of August already BOY! time is moving, as we start this new month and new week with these words of wisdom to help us get through the week ahead with Read: Romans 6:16-23
Bible in a Year: Psalms 63-65; Romans 6
Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. —John 8:34
There’s an underground lava tube south of Kuna, Idaho, that has gained a certain amount of local notoriety. The only entrance, as far as I know, is a yawning shaft that plunges straight down into darkness.
Some years ago I stood at the edge of that shaft and looked down. I was drawn to venture closer and almost lost my balance. I felt a moment of heart-pounding terror and stepped away from the opening.
Sin is like that: Curiosity can draw us toward the darkness. How often have men and women gotten too close to the edge, lost their balance, and fallen into the darkness? They’ve destroyed their families, reputations, and careers through adulterous affairs that began with a “mere” flirtation but then progressed to thoughts and actions. Looking back they almost always say, “I never thought it would come to this.”
We think we can flirt with temptation, get very close to the edge, and walk away, but that’s a fool’s dream. We know an action is wrong and yet we toy with it. Then, inescapably, we are drawn into deeper and darker perversions. Jesus put it simply: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).
And so, seeing our own need for God’s help, we pray as David did in Psalm 19:13, “Keep back Your servant also from [deliberate] sins; let them not have dominion over me.” —David H. Roper
Heavenly Father, whether we are being tempted now, or have fallen, we thank You that You are always there, and You love us with relentless love. We have nowhere to turn but to You.
A big fall begins with a little stumble.
INSIGHT: Having proven that all people are sinners and having shown how sinners are justified through faith in Jesus (Rom. 1-4), Paul now describes the new life we can have because of what Jesus did (chs. 5-8). We can live differently, we can choose not to sin, and we can live holy lives (6:1-14). In today’s passage, Paul warns that we become the slave of whatever we choose to obey (vv. 16-20). Rather than give ourselves to sin, we are to give ourselves to God (vv. 22-23). When we do sin, we bear the consequences of our sins and experience a lack of fellowship with God (Gal. 6:7-8). Sim Kay Tee
On this 8th month of the New Year We are Celebrating an Honoring Emancipation Day in Jamaica here is the Story.
When full Emancipation came in 1838 a system that had been tried and tested in the Caribbean since the sixteenth century came to an end. Slavery had within itself the seeds of its own destruction, whether because slaves resisted it (alternating with accommodation), or whether the emergence of a new style capitalism rendered slavery obsolete or incompatible with British industrial society, or whether the merging of philanthropy with evangelical religion helped to frame an ideology that was antagonistic to slavery.
Yet, whatever the “international dimensions” of Emancipation, the reality was that within the Caribbean the planter class remained opposed to Emancipation, and only the reward of £20,000,000 in compensation for their lost “property” made surrender to the Colonial Office more palatable to them. So, too, did planter recognition that they were to prove victorious in one very important respect-the slave was legally free, but the structure of slave society remained unchanged. The energy of planters was now to be directed towards converting a former slave labour force into a permanent plantation labour force. From the perspective of planters, it was to be the same rider, on the same mule, cantering towards the same destiny.
As I have noted elsewhere, “The social system rested during and after slavery on the assumption that superiority or inferiority of social position were physically or philosophically congruent with superiority or inferiority of race.”
The recognition in 1834 by the ex-slaves/apprentices that abolition had not been intended to create a context of freedom that would provide opportunities to develop “a wide range of own account activities … independent of the control of the former slave masters” (as Tony Bogues puts it) was met with strikes, and in St. Kitts with a riot and certainly with a reluctance to place any freedom value on August 1, 1834. The point emerges in the oral historical account of Kenneth Bryan – the skepticism of the ex-slave who saw August 1, 1834, as a hoax, that they feared would be repeated in 1838. For the ex-slave 1838, not 1834, was the year of decision: “when 1838 came and they were free they were reluctant in accepting freedom, because they believed it was another rumour like what took place in 1834.” And while 1838 was to be “full free”, the experience of the future generations of black labourers was to be what Burchell Whiteman has noted “a long twilight of unfulfilled hopes.” Whiteman sees Emancipation, of necessity therefore, as a process and not just a calendar event; Bogues concludes, too, that the deepest aspirations and strivings of the black majority have been frustrated by the hegemonic ideology of creole nationalism, notwithstanding an occasional vibrant black nationalism.
The planters had an interest to protect, the ex slaves an interest to advance. The former had the weight of the British Government behind them, the latter nothing but their ambition, labour and their power to withdraw it. The latter’s power was never sufficient to enable them to fight successfully against arbitrary taxation, anti-squatting legislation, high rentals for prime land, unavailability of land, and low wages which remained static for close on one hundred years after Emancipation. As Bogues notes, “the content and interpretation of freedom means different things, given time, space and content.” While Whiteman emphasises the long-term constraints on the ability of the new generations of ex-slaves and their children, Bogues places the issue squarely in terms of an evolving elite ideology which, whether we call it the pro-slavery ideology as Gordon Lewis does, or “creole nationalism” that Bogues calls it, has had the same effect, the long-term defeat of the principle of freedom as defined by the ex-slaves and their descendants. Racism, partly concealed by the legal system of slavery itself, became a major force in social control, and along with that a pointed display of arrogance towards most manifestations of non-European culture.
Thus, Emancipation, carried out from above to preempt a more devastating upheaval from below, reflected the planter class’s narrow, conservative, interpretation of Emancipation as legal freedom. “For the whites of Jamaica and elsewhere where slavery had been abolished, the challenge of Emancipation consisted in organising production around free labour, while keeping alive the spirit of inequality that had marked the plantation system.”
But, as Whiteman indicates, and as Walter Rodney has shown in his History of the Guyanese Working People, there were important counterpressures that constantly challenged the accepted ideology of white cultural, economic, political, and social predominance. In Jamaica, the drifting of ex-slaves towards the hinterland and the highlands where the plantation had never taken root (such as Manchester), was proof enough that ex-slaves were prepared to take every opportunity to advance their interest. Just as important was the historical complementarity and to some extent empathy, between religious bodies and the spiritual and temporal welfare of the ex-slaves and their children. The religious bodies, acting as honest brokers, or as a buffer between elite and mass, seeking to please both sides (and God), provided the earliest opportunities for the children of slaves not only to seek the Kingdom of Heaven, but, through education, to find the means to escape the thralldom of the plantations. One clergyman (black), frankly indicated that the desire to escape the plantation was a sure proof of black ambition, not a sign of laziness. For some planters, education “spoiled” labour. For others, more subtly, education reduced dependence on the police, and provided the opportunity to create a black middle class as a buffer between elite and mass. It is a truism that hegemony does not eschew concessions in the interest of the maintenance of order and the rule of the elite through the law.
By the end of the 19th century positivism and social Darwinism had penetrated the consciousness of both the white elite and an emergent black middle class that wavered between acceptance of white cultural hegemony (and the rejection of mass culture) and the use of the same ideology to define a black position, to explain black progress (or lack of it), and to analyse the relationship between Africa and blacks of the diaspora. In the “white” ideology, Africa was backward in all respects. In the black ideology Africa’ s backwardness was accepted, but western ideas that they had thoroughly learned would help remove that backwardness and bring Africa back into the mainstream of “world civilization.” In the elite ideology, the social, economic and political order were to be maintained. All that was needed was a new moral order that did not challenge the hierarchy of race and class, and that clearly defined the position of all in terms of duty and morality. Yet, in the background, was always the nagging doubt that Emancipation was complete. The chains of slavery had gone, but the hands of the freemen continued to be tied by the law, by racism, which T.E.S. Scholes saw as an empire-wide phenomenon. Scholes and Rev. C.A. Wilson, focussed especially on the issue of land, which by remaining concentrated in the hands of a powerful elite, assured the continued existence of ex-slaves and their children as minions.
Theophilus Scholes declared:
If the freedmen had been settled on small plots of land at the time of Emancipation and had schools been erected in a few centres for instructing them in agriculture the British taxpayer [would) have been saved the grants-in-aid with which from time to time they have assisted the West Indian Colonies.”
Emancipation has from time to time, including now, been used as a calendar date for assessment of achievement or non-achievement. The first such formal assessment I am aware of was done fifty years after Emancipation in 1888, by a group of five black Jamaicans who pointedly denied/declined white participation in the composition of the work. This book contains a study by J.H. Reid (later a regular contributor to Dr. Robert Love’s Jamaica Advocate) on “The People of Jamaica Described”, an essay on the position of each of the three significant racial strata, and the relationship between them. An underlying theme of the essay is the self-confidence of blacks that Jamaica was their inheritance; but that black achievement had been restricted by the “system”. The contribution of Rev. Dingwall placed Africa at the centre of the black Jamaican experience. A third essay was defiant. Using the ideological categories of social Darwinism and evolution, he concluded that the struggle of blacks for survival had honed and toughened them to the extent that their survival was assured. Blacks were developing and growing, not a stagnant, and declining race.
This leads me to the theme of the People’s Convention discussed by Joy Lumsden; who shows how Love brought together “the leading minds among those who are identified with the cause of the emancipated”. The Jamaica Advocate (27/7/1901), explained the upcoming Convention in the following terms:
“The first of August anniversary of the great day, when, to the African bond-slave, in the British West Indies, the blessing of personal liberty was given not by act of Parliament only, but in reality, is approaching. It is the intention of the People’s Convention to celebrate the day in a manner befitting the event and the obligation of the children of the emancipated .. .We have had to combat the stupidity put forth by certain imposters, who pretend to have an unnecessary care of society, and an unnecessary fear that our motive, or the results of our movement, would unhinge the sealed order of peace and goodwill … The People’s Convention decided to make the celebration of their day an occasion of intellectual, and patriotic improvement . . . It is a day on which to recall the history of our Fathers, and to contemplate the destinies of our children. It should be utilised to the end that the Negro subjects of the British Crown will eventually rise to the full dignity of their national privileges, and enjoy without any distinction, the full political manhood embraced in British citizenship.
the assessment of 1901, Love called for intellectual improvement, the recollection of black history, the planning of the future of the black race through its children, and for equal citizenship for blacks within the British Empire. At the same time he disdains any notion that the People’s Convention would attempt to disrupt “the sealed order of peace and goodwill.” Brereton’s research into Trinidad’s 1888 Jubilee leads to a comparable conclusion, that “the event would infuse pride in the West Indian people of African descent, pride in their progress since 1838 and pride in their race. It would help to destroy false feelings of shame and inferiority deriving from the slave past, as well as prove to the detractors of the race that West Indians had indeed advanced morally, intellectually and materially since the degradation of slavery.” Furthermore, the “celebrations would not be calculated to make whites feel guilty or to worsen race relations, or to divide the society.”
In 1893 Love had advocated the inclusion of August 1 as a holiday, on the grounds that the date had “tender associations” for our people. Lumsden notes two poems written by Matthew Josephs that reflect the tender association.
The methodical assessment of progress was spasmodic rather than continuous. The People’s Convention proved unable to sustain itself. We have in the two volume work of Theophilus Scholes, a critical evaluation of the progress of blacks, or indeed, of the meaning of Emancipation. For scholars whose volumes appeared between 1905 and 1907, the chains of slavery had gone, but the hands of the freedman continued to be bound by the law (Love had referred continuously to “class legislation”) and by racial prejudice. The People’s Convention had discussed such issues as women’s rights, the abuse of Jamaican migrant workers, the use and abuse of flogging as an instrument for the elimination of praedial larceny.” Scholes and Rev. C.A. Wilson, after him, tackled directly the issue of concentrated landholdling in the hand of a white minority as one of the primary modes of restraint on the progress of ex slaves and their children.
Scholes no less than his contemporaries recognised that legal freedom (from slavery) was not intended to create conditions of legal equality, or equality of citizenship. For Scholes, and later Marcus Garvey and the Pan-Africanists, Emancipation was not only a local but an international process that identified the spiritual Emancipation of blacks with the political Emancipation of Africa: “Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God.” (Psalm 68)
Whereas black nationalism became linked in part with a telluric base in Africa, “creole nationalism”, became associated with “brown” Jamaica. J.H. Reid had noted the intense nationalism of “brown” Jamaicans who were quick to point out that as a group they were-in contrast to whites and blacks-the genuine product of the Jamaican soil. It was a narrower nationalism, focussed on the island, but was to succeed ultimately in over-riding black nationalism and internationalism.
For one thing, there was not a unified “black ideology”. Love, for example, was not a supporter of Bedward or Bedwardism, which he identified as an ideology of insanity, and Garvey, despite the impact of his views on Rastafarianism, did not give unqualified support to Leonard Howell and his successors. It is probably true, as well, that black middle class thinking merged at several points with creole nationalism (in rhythm with their negative perception of Africa), since black middle class “nationalists” accepted ethnic identification with the black labouring class, but drew cultural distinctions between blacks who were Europeanised in culture, and those who were not. Educated blacks also accepted the “civilizing” mission, a vision that saw a vital relationship between black progress and cultural and technological Europeanisation. Just as in Haiti, social distinctions (sometimes corresponding to economic distinctions), were made between the “anciens libres” and the newly freed, so too at the time of Emancipation in Jamaica distinctions were made, as Brereton notes, between those freed on the first of August (Fus’ of Augus’ niggers) and those who had purchased their freedom earlier. The Rastafarians emerging as a movement in the 1930s were unable to identify with Emancipation Day since liberation was linked not to the August 1st declaration of freedom, but with repatriation and resettlement in the secular/holy Heaven of Ethiopia. Unable to sing a song of freedom in “a strange land”, the Rastafarians continued to sing a song of captivity by the River of Babylon. Secondly, brown Jamaicans saw themselves, as their counterparts had done in Haiti, as the inheritors of white Jamaica. If for blacks, the browns of the island would have become “their Irish”, for Browns the blacks would remain fundamentally what they had always been, the muscle of the labour force.
It is clear that whether Emancipation was celebrated or not depended on social interpretations of its meaning. And it is true, as Nettleford has noted that both the jailer and the jailed needed Emancipation. In our actual historical circumstances, whites did at first participate in the celebration of Emancipation, but partly in order to use Emancipation for didactic purposes. As Higman notes”the first of August soon came to be seen by the elite, anxious to maintain its control over the labour force, as an excellent occasion to tell the ex-slaves how they could best use the `boon’ of freedom. Clearly, a Bahamian governor quoted by Bridget Brereton in this volume was speaking with this principle in mind when he said:
“It gratifies me beyond measure, to see how well you have merited the great blessing of freedom by your habits of industry, sobriety and general propriety of demeanour. Allow me to address you as a father speaks to his children, and let me entreat you … to teach [your children] by your own example the value of time and of patient industry-to tell them that the Almighty expects us all to work either with our heads or with our hands- and to impress upon them early in life the principle of loyal devotion to our gracious sovereign and of perfect obedience to the laws of the land they live in.”
Both Higman and Brereton, observe that the churches ceased to show significant interest in using the anniversary for didactic purposes by the late 1840s and as Higman notes, these men of God lost their enthusiasm for the August 1 st festivities as myalism infiltrated the churches. Yet the didactic purpose occasionally emerged in the twentieth century. Daniel Segal9 refers to Emancipation celebrations in Trinidad in 1934, one hundred years after British abolition. Segal notes that on 30 July 1934 some 5000 school children were brought together in Port of Spain, to hear these words from the Acting Governor:
Now, children, more than 100 years ago people in England gave serious thought to the question of slavery. They asked themselves-” Is it right? Is it christian?” Wilberforce and his friends took up the question and they told all England that this must stop.
If anyone was in doubt about the British philanthropic role in abolishing slavery the same Acting Governor of Trinidad declared:
“Slavery seems to have been an institution which affected every country in the world. The Israelites got a bad time from their Egyptian masters. The ancient Greeks kept slaves and did not treat them well … On August 1, 1834 something happened right through the British Empire which set the way through the Christian countries all over the world to remove the blot of slavery from our civilization.”
Emancipation celebrations declined in intensity partly because of hard economic times in the 19th century, and there seems to have occurred a separation of the day from the memory of the holocaust of slavery. The disassociation was not accidental, since even now, the prevailing ideology still conveys the idea, quite successfully, that black Jamaicans, in order to be good citizens, should induce amnesia as far as three hundred years of their history are concerned. Contemporary elite ideology is insistent, to some extent that the past, that history, the collective experience of 90% of the population should be forgotten. And yet, the tone of some of these papers indicates that the freedom promised in 1838 was limited, and that the urge for a fuller Emancipation has survived. The immediate post-Emancipation era saw a tendency for ex-slaves to celebrate Emancipation utilising not only aspects of their cultural heritage, but the pews of the non-conformist churches. Christian halleluias, Jonkonnu, Canboulay,” were used to mark the day. They blessed the Queen, and in 1847 they seemed ready to absorb the “revered” Rev. William Knibb into a myalist celebration of Emancipation Day in Falmouth. There was Bruckins as well.
The Bruckins Party clearly has some association with Emancipation, whether as a dance and celebratory form originating with Emancipation or indulged in (after years of formation) at Emancipation. In any event, the Bruckins Party, which incorporates the “Tea Meeting” form and a central role for the Queen, demonstrates, along with Jonkonnu, how the “folk” celebrated Emancipation. The paper by the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ) and the presentation by Mr. Kenneth Bryan represent the effort to use the tools of oral history. It is always difficult to identify the origins of folk culture. There is an interesting alternative explanation for the source of Bruckins. Maroon Col. C. Harris sees Bruckins as “a special type of dance originating in Moore Town.” And his explanation of “bruck” is particularly fascinating.
“Have you, dear reader, ever had to pass a muddy section of the road while in formal dress? And did some kind person place some small stones on which, if you were brave enough, you could pick your way across? Well, the resultant tentativeness, swaying sideways and backwards and the successful progress, were the motivating force behind the concept of bruckins … The entire course of this dance gives the impression of an orderly unfolding of a story, stage by stage, and there is at least one song that is particularly relevant to each stage.”
Whatever its origins, Bruckins had a place in the celebration of Emancipation. The cleansing of Emancipation Day of more than superficial association with the history of slavery was facilitated by distance, and by ideological sanitisation based in turn on “the psychological need for selective amnesia, a facet of the terrified consciousness of the white West Indian.” The physical aspect may now have given way to the psychological– the phrase is now “mental” slavery-but the latter is no less real as Wint has noted in her discussion. No less important, and this is the message we get from Rev. Cooper’s discussion, is the interest of three congregations armed again with the Christian cross, modernised by liberation theology and feminism, to revive again the periodic assessment not just of Emancipation but of the position and the hopes of the children (and their descendants) of those who identified 1838 as “Full Free”.
A Celebration of Emancipation
Edited by: Prof. Patrick Bryan (1994)
Emancipation Day Message 2015_The Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller