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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