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Friday, January 29, 2016

Her Father’s Zoo

Made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! WOW! the end of the month is here as well let's take moment to reflect on the week and the whole month of January as we prepare ourselves to step into the 2nd month of the New Year with these words of wisdom Read: 1 Kings 4:29-34 Bible in a Year: Exodus 21-22; Matthew 19 The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. —Proverbs 12:10 June Williams was only 4 when her father bought 7 acres of land to build a zoo without bars or cages. Growing up she remembers how creative her father was in trying to help wild animals feel free in confinement. Today Chester Zoo is one of England’s most popular wildlife attractions. Home to 11,000 animals on 110 acres of land, the zoo reflects her father’s concern for animal welfare, education, and conservation. Solomon had a similar interest in all creatures great and small. In addition to studying the wildlife of the Middle East, he imported exotic animals like apes and monkeys from far-off lands (1 Kings 10:22). But one of his proverbs shows us that Solomon’s knowledge of nature went beyond intellectual curiosity. When he expressed the spiritual implications of how we treat our animals, he mirrored something of the heart of our Creator: “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Prov. 12:10). With God-given wisdom, Solomon saw that our relationship to our Creator affects not only how we treat people but also how much thoughtful consideration we give to the creatures in our care. —Mart DeHaan Father in heaven, when we think about the wonder and diversity of Your animal kingdom, please help us not only to worship You, but to care for what You’ve entrusted to us. God is the real Owner of all of us. INSIGHT: There is a subtle but important difference between intelligence and wisdom. Both of them are desirable; both of them important; both require diligence and discipline to acquire and exercise. However, wisdom is often considered the appropriate application of intelligence. Knowing something is one thing; being able to act well on what you know is another. As Solomon shows, intelligence can be demonstrated by speech, but wisdom is demonstrated in both speech and action.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Careless Words

We are in the last week of January as we start this last week let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: James 3:1-12 Bible in a Year: Exodus 12-13; Matthew 16 The tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. —James 3:5 My daughter has had a lot of ill health recently, and her husband has been wonderfully caring and supportive. “You have a real treasure there!” I said. “You didn’t think that when I first knew him,” she said with a grin. She was quite right. When Icilda and Philip got engaged, I was concerned. They were such different personalities. We have a large and noisy family, and Philip is more reserved. And I had shared my misgivings with my daughter quite bluntly. I was horrified to realize that the critical things I said so casually 15 years ago had stayed in her memory and could possibly have destroyed a relationship that has proved to be so right and happy. It reminded me how much we need to guard what we say to others. So many of us are quick to point out what we consider to be weaknesses in family, friends, or work colleagues, or to focus on their mistakes rather than their successes. “The tongue is a small part of the body,” says James (3:5), yet the words it shapes can either destroy relationships or bring peace and harmony to a situation in the workplace, the church, or the family. Perhaps we should make David’s prayer our own as we start each day: “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Ps. 141:3). —Marion Stroud Father, please curb my careless speech and put a guard on my tongue today and every day. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11 nkjv INSIGHT: Marion Stroud went to be with the Lord on August 8, 2015. Since 2014 she has been writing devotional articles for Our Daily Bread that have touched the lives of readers around the world. Marion worked as a cross-cultural trainer for Media Associates International, helping writers produce books for their own culture. She has been a role model for writers for many years and is missed by hundreds of friends.

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Prisoner No More

The week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! YES! Now lets take a moment to reflect on this week with these words of wisdom Read: Romans 7:15-25 Bible in a Year: Exodus 4-6; Matthew 14:22-36 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. —Romans 7:15 A middle-aged man approached me after I led a workshop at his place of employment and asked this question: “I’ve been a Christian nearly my whole life, but I’m constantly disappointed in myself. Why is it that I always seem to keep doing the things I wish I didn’t do and never seem to do the things I know I should? Isn’t God getting tired of me?” Two men standing next to me also seemed eager to hear the response. That’s a common struggle that even the apostle Paul experienced. “I do not understand what I do,” he said, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Rom. 7:15). But here’s some good news: We don’t have to stay in that trap of discouragement. To paraphrase Paul as he writes in Romans 8, the key is to stop focusing on the law and start focusing on Jesus. We can’t do anything about our sinfulness in our own strength. The answer is not “try harder to be good at keeping the rules.” Instead, we must focus on the One who shows us mercy and cooperate with the Spirit who changes us. When we focus on the law, we are constantly reminded that we’ll never be good enough to deserve God’s grace. But when we focus on Jesus, we become more like Him. —Randy Kilgore I sometimes get caught in the cycle of trying harder to be good, failing, getting discouraged, and giving up. Help me, Lord, to depend on Your grace and to draw near to You so that You can change my heart. Focus on Jesus. INSIGHT: There is an interesting element in this passage from the apostle Paul. We often focus on the difference between law and grace. But Paul highlights two different laws in this passage. It is not that the Mosaic law is bad and grace is good. Instead, Paul says that he delights in God’s law but is held captive by the law of sin. God’s law is something to delight in; the sin that is revealed through that law is something to be set free from.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Big plans for 2016

Here is our CCFA January 2016 Newsletter. So we are KICK Starting our 2016 with ALL the happenings taking place in our CCFA Community with a Letter from our President & CEO First, thank you so much to everyone who helped us meet our holiday match! The funds you contributed will make a huge difference in the year ahead … because we have big plans for 2016. We are committed to expanding our mission activities, and will be introducing a host of innovative programs designed to serve our patients and improve their quality of life. We would also like to thank all of our President Corporate Circle members for their continued support of CCFA's mission: AbbVie, Allergan, Celgene Corporation, Genentech Inc., Gilead Sciences Inc., Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc., Janssen Biotech Inc., Pfizer Inc., Prometheus Laboratories Inc., Receptos, RedHill Biopharma, Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Shire, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc. I am incredibly excited to be starting my first full year as President & CEO with all of you as my partners. I know, together, we will continue to do impactful and crucial things to serve the IBD community. Richard J. Geswell, CCFA President and CEO Thank you again! Michael Osso Michael Osso President & CEO Take Steps with Tyler "I want to be a doctor in San Diego someday so I can help sick kids get better." Tyler, a honored hero Every day, Take Steps and CCFA inspire children like Tyler to overcome the challenges of living with IBD. Will you please join us this year? Invite your friends, family, and co-workers to form a team and raise funds for cures. READ MORE ► What Exactly is Camp Oasis? Camp Oasis is a co-ed residential summer camp program that enriches the lives of children with IBD by providing them with a safe and supportive community. Since all of the kids (and many of the adults) are living with IBD, our camps allow them to see that they are not alone, try all sorts of new sports and activities, and create friendships with people who truly understand them. REGISTER TODAY ► An Iron Will A year ago, Brian's only goal was to be strong enough to get out of bed after his surgery. This year, he completed a half IRONMAN with an ostomy. It was one of the most emotional moments of his life—one that he will never forget. And even though he was faced with constant mental hurdles, he realized that Crohn's actually prepared him for all of it. Today, he encourages other IBD patients to create a goal of their own. READ MORE ► Be There for People with IBD With your help, we can continue to fund groundbreaking IBD research, as well as provide education and support services to hundreds of thousands of patients across the United States. Donate now A New Scholarship for IBD Patients! AbbVie has just launched a brand new scholarship fund to provide financial support to 15 exceptional students living with IBD as they pursue their higher education goals. It's just one of many scholarships available to IBD patients, so please visit our website for more information or call CCFA's IBD Help Center. READ MORE ► A Game-changer for IBD Research For the first time ever, more than 40,000 IBD patients, researchers, and healthcare providers will be brought together by IBD Plexus® to create the world’s largest registry of IBD patients of all ages, which will transform how Crohn's and colitis research is conducted. LEARN MORE ► Miss a Webcast? Not to worry! They are now available 24/7 on various topics, including: nutrition in IBD, complementary and alternative therapies, diagnostics in managing IBD, and updates in research. START WATCHING 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 long-term registry to assess the safety and effectiveness of Humira in UC patients A study to evaluate Vedolizumab IV compared to Adalimumab SC in UC patients A trial to assess endoscopic improvement and changes in intestinal and serum biomarkers in Crohn’s patients receiving Oral RPC1063 A study looking at bacterial transmission in utero and IBD risk (The MECONIUM Study) 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. 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

Monday, January 18, 2016

Celebrating & Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today we are celebrating and honoring the Late Dr. Martin Luther King who was an Advocate for the Civil Rights Movement and for Change over All. So I just want to wish everyone a HAPPY Martin Luther King Day! Common, John Legend - Glory

Minister of Reconciliation

We are jump start the New Week on the Martin Luther King Holiday with these words of wisdom Read: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Bible in a Year: Genesis 43-45; Matthew 12:24-50 While we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. —Romans 5:10 As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached on a Sunday morning in 1957, he fought the temptation to retaliate against a society steeped in racism. “How do you go about loving your enemies?” he asked the Dexter Avenue Baptist congregation in Montgomery, Alabama. “Begin with yourself. . . . When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it.” Quoting from the words of Jesus, King said: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you . . . ; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:44-45 kjv). As we consider those who harm us, we are wise to remember our former status as enemies of God (see Rom. 5:10). But “[God] reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,” wrote Paul (2 Cor. 5:18). Now we have a holy obligation. “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (v. 19). We are to take that message to the world. Racial and political tensions are nothing new. But the business of the church is never to feed divisiveness. We should not attack those unlike us or those who hold different opinions or even those who seek our destruction. Ours is a “ministry of reconciliation” that imitates the selfless servant-heart of Jesus. —Tim Gustafson In Christ there is no east or west, in Him no south or north, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth. John Oxenham Hate destroys the hater as well as the hated. Martin Luther King Jr. INSIGHT: Our salvation changes everything about us. Paul says that the old has gone and the new has come. This is not a future event but a current state, for those who are in Christ are now a new creation. Paul uses the word reconcile for being made new (vv. 18-20)—we are being reconciled to God. To reconcile is to restore friendly relations, to erase division and distance. The purpose of being made into a new creation is so that we can help others become new creations too.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Wishing Steve Harvey & First Lady Michelle Obama a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On this day January 17th we have two Birthdays we are Celebrating the first is Comedian and Daytime Talk Show Host Steve Harvey and the 2nd is our First Lady Of The United States Michelle Obama. I just want to take a moment a wish them a Day that is filled with JOY & BLESSINGS On there Special Day. Ask Steve: I don’t want nobody hugging me! || STEVE HARVEY Michelle Obama Reveals What She Won't Miss About Being First Lady

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Wishing Sade & Aaliyah a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On this day January 16, 2016 we Celebrate 2 Birthday Sade and the late Aaliyah Houghton who would have turned 37years old today, so I just want to take a moment to wish these Inspirational Women a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Sade - Soldier of Love Aaliyah - Four Page Letter

Wishing PITBULL A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

On Yesterday January 15, 2016 Cuban born PITBULL Mr. WorldWide and Mr. 805 Celebrated his 35th Birthday! PITBULL was born on January 15, 1981 so Just want to take a moment to wish PITBULL a HAPPY BIRTHDAY DALE!!! Happy 35th Birthday Pitbull! (Fan-Project) Pitbull - Fun ft. Chris Brown

Friday, January 15, 2016

What’s in the Bank?

The week as come to an end we have made it to FRIDAY! YES! has we prepare ourselves for the weekend let's take a moment to reflect on this past week with these words of wisdom Read: Ephesians 2:4-7 Bible in a Year: Genesis 36-38; Matthew 10:21-42 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. —Hebrews 4:16 In the winter of 2009, a large passenger plane made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River. The pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who landed the plane safely with no casualties, was later asked about those moments in the air when he was faced with a life-or-death decision. “One way of looking at this,” he said, “might be that for 42 years I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. And on [that day] the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.” Most of us will at some time face a crisis. Perhaps it will be a job termination or the results of a medical test, or the loss of a precious family member or friend. It is in those times that we must dig down deep into the reserves of our spiritual bank account. And what might we find there? If we have enjoyed a deepening relationship with God, we’ve been making regular “deposits” of faith. We have experienced His grace (2 Cor. 8:9; Eph. 2:4-7). We trust the promise of Scripture that God is just and faithful (Deut. 32:4; 2 Thess. 3:3). God’s love and grace are available when His children need to make a “withdrawal” (Ps. 9:10; Heb. 4:16). —Cindy Hess Kasper Great is Your faithfulness, O Lord God! Each day I see You provide for me and show me mercy. Thank You. Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past strengthens us for the future. INSIGHT: In today’s text Paul reminds the believers in the church at Ephesus that their salvation is wholly God’s doing—after all, dead things (v. 5) can’t do anything to change their situation. But Paul doesn’t stop with the reminder that it is God who makes us alive. He adds that the goal of that gracious action is to show the incomparable riches of God’s grace. God saves us to show us who He is.

Monday, January 11, 2016

You Have Value

The weekend has come to an end and we are starting a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Romans 5:6-11 Bible in a Year: Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-33 You were bought at a price. —1 Corinthians 6:20 After my mother-in-law died, my wife and I discovered a cache of US Indian Head pennies in a dresser drawer in her apartment. She wasn’t a coin collector, as such, but she lived in the era when these pennies were in circulation and she had accumulated a few. Some of these coins are in excellent condition; others are not. They are so worn and tarnished you can hardly see the imprint. All bear the stamp “One Cent” on the opposite side. Although a penny these days has little value and many consider them useless, this one-cent coin would have bought a newspaper in its day. And collectors still find value in them, even those that have been battered and abused. Perhaps you feel tarnished, worn, old, or out of circulation. Even so, God finds value in you. The Creator of the universe wants you—not for your mind, your body, your clothes, your achievements, your intellect, or your personality, but because you are you! He would go any distance and pay any price to possess you (1 Cor. 6:20). In fact He did. He came down to earth from heaven and purchased you with His own blood (Rom. 5:6, 8-9). That’s how much He wants you. You are valuable in His eyes, and He loves you. —David Roper As I think about Your love for me, Father, I wonder with amazement how You could love someone like me—and I praise You. Christ’s death is the measure of God’s love for you. INSIGHT: The word gospel means “good news,” and Romans 5 is the very heart of that gospel. Paul makes clear that the motive of the gospel is that God loves us despite our sins (v. 8). The need for the gospel is because of our sin and rebellion (vv. 8, 10). The act of the gospel is found in Christ’s sacrificial death for the undeserving (vv. 8-10). The result of the gospel is restored relationship with the God who created us for relationship with Him (v. 10). That is certainly good news!

Friday, January 8, 2016

3 Years Ago Surviving Crohn's Disease

On this Day January 8th 2013 3 years ago I under went Surgery for Crohn's Disease so I am taking a moment to Reflect and Celebrate ALL GOD has done in my Life. I will continue to give Praise to my GOD. #CROHNSWARRIOR #FIGHTINGCROHNS #WARRIOR #CROHNS

The Best Kind of Happiness

The first Week of 2016 as come to an end It's FRIDAY! Let's take a moment to be Grateful to make to the end of the week with these words of wisdom to help carry us through the rest of the day. Read: John 8:31-38 Bible in a Year: Genesis 20-22; Matthew 6:19-34 If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. —John 8:31-32 “Everybody's doing it” seemed like a winning argument when I was young. But my parents never gave in to such pleas no matter how desperate I was to get permission to do something they believed was unsafe or unwise. As we get older we add excuses and rationalizations to our repertoire of arguments for having our own way: “No one will get hurt.” “It's not illegal.” “He did it to me first.” “She won't find out.” Behind each argument is the belief that what we want is more important than anything else. Eventually, this faulty way of thinking becomes the basis for our beliefs about God. One of the lies we sometimes choose to believe is that we, not God, are the center of the universe. We think we will be carefree and happy only when we reorder the world according to our desires. This lie is convincing because it promises an easier, speedier way to get what we want. It argues, “God is love, so He wants me to do whatever will make me happy.” But this way of thinking leads to heartache, not happiness. Jesus told those who believed in Him that the truth would make them truly free (John 8:31-32). But He also warned, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (v. 34). The best kind of happiness comes from the freedom we find when we accept the truth that Jesus is the way to a full and satisfying life. —Julie Ackerman Link Lord, we confess our tendency to rationalize everything to get what we think we want. Guide us today so that we choose to obey Your commands instead of pursuing our own desires. There are no shortcuts to true happiness. INSIGHT: Jesus’s confrontations with the religious establishment became increasingly combative as the time of His death drew near. In John 8 the leaders of Judaism implied that Jesus’s birth was illegitimate (vv. 40-41). When Jesus affirmed His Father and, with that, His deity, those same leaders attempted to stone Him to death for the sin of blasphemy (v. 59). Some say that Jesus never claimed to be God, but it is clear from John 8 that the religious leaders, scholars, and experts of Israel saw Jesus’s words as nothing less than a claim to be God.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CDL: Taking Steps in the Workplace

As we are KICKING OFF! The New Year with a Story about Team CDL and Rebecca. When Joel and Irene’s Levine’s daughter, Rebecca, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in her teens, the family vowed to do everything in their power to help find cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Their fundraising efforts started small with a Take Steps team in New York City but Team CDL soon became a powerful fundraising force in their local Florida community. Taking their efforts to the workplace, Joel empowered staff at his accounting firm Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil (CDL) to support his fundraising efforts. Their willingness to support their daughter is critical to their success. Each year, the Levine’s share Rebecca’s experience with IBD through a heartfelt letter sent to their friends, family and business contacts. Team CDL came together once again in Palm Beach to Take Steps for cures. Standing almost 60 strong, the team collectively raised more than $70,000 in 2015. Since their first event, the Levine’s and the employees of CDL have raised more than $300,000. Members of the firm come together to achieve one very personal goal while building better working relationships and stronger camaraderie in the office. Joel and Irene have seen firsthand the positive impact the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America can have on Crohn’s and colitis patients. However, it’s clear the positive impact Team CDL has on CCFA and our patients. Their continued support and fundraising ensures CCFA is able to advance mission-critical research and support vital patient support and education programs. Because of their unwavering support of our mission and programs, this year firm Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil was awarded our 2015 Corporate Partner of the Year Award. This award recognizes our most valued corporate partners and fundraising teams whose commitment aligns with the core mission of CCFA. Team CDL’s dedication sparks stronger commitments to the cause by our staff, our patients, and the community. Team CDL is one of many corporate teams making a lasting impact on the IBD community. Our Take Steps partners are vital to the program’s success. For more information on how to become a corporate partner, visit cctakesteps.org/partnership or to register a team in your local community, v

Monday, January 4, 2016

Is He Listening?

So here we are starting a New Week in a New Year Welcome to 2016! I truly believe that 2016 is going to be NOT like any other Year we have Experience before it's going to be an AWESOME and FANTASTIC Year here's to 2016!!! with these words of wisdom. Read: Matthew 26:39-42; 27:45-46 Bible in a Year: Genesis 10-12; Matthew 4 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? —Matthew 27:46 "Sometimes it feels as if God isn’t listening to me.” Those words, from a woman who tried to stay strong in her walk with God while coping with an alcoholic husband, echo the heartcry of many believers. For many years, she asked God to change her husband. Yet it never happened. What are we to think when we repeatedly ask God for something good—something that could easily glorify Him—but the answer doesn’t come? Is He listening or not? Let’s look at the life of the Savior. In the garden of Gethsemane, He agonized for hours in prayer, pouring out His heart and pleading, “Let this cup pass from Me” (Matt. 26:39 nkjv). But the Father’s answer was clearly “No.” To provide salvation, God had to send Jesus to die on the cross. Even though Jesus felt as if His Father had forsaken Him, He prayed intensely and passionately because He trusted that God was listening. When we pray, we may not see how God is working or understand how He will bring good through it all. So we have to trust Him. We relinquish our rights and let God do what is best. We must leave the unknowable to the all-knowing One. He is listening and working things out His way. —Dave Branon Lord, we don’t need to know the reason our prayers sometimes go unanswered. Help us just to wait for Your time, because You are good. When we bend our knees to pray, God bends His ear to listen. INSIGHT: Jesus prayed that “this cup” would be taken away (vv. 39, 42). In the Old Testament cup is a metaphor for both God’s blessings (Pss. 16:5; 23:5) and God’s wrath (Pss. 75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15). In today’s reading Jesus referred to His imminent humiliation, torture, and death. He knew He had to become the object of God’s wrath and experience abandonment by His Father (Matt. 27:46) as He died to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). Knowing that this cup came from God (18:11), Jesus submitted Himself to the Father’s will (Matt. 26:42). Bible commentator Warren Wiersbe wrote: “The Father has never forsaken any of His own, yet He forsook His Son [Matt. 27:46]. This was the cup that Jesus willingly drank for us.”

Friday, January 1, 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As we have stepped out of One Year into another Year let's take a moment to be Thankful and Grateful for ALL that GOD has done for us in 2015 as for what lies ahead for 2016 God alone knows ALL I know is that it's going to be an EXCITING! Year. I am looking forward to Celebrating 2016, so on this New Year I just want 2 wish Everyone a HAPPY and Prosperous New Year!!!

This Could Be the Year

WOW! What a way to end the week in a NEW YEAR! as we have step out of one Year into another let's heed these words of wisdom as we take moment to reflect on the New Year Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Bible in a Year: Genesis 1-3; Matthew 1 We who are still alive and are left will . . . meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. —1 Thessalonians 4:17 My dad was a pastor, and on the first Sunday of each new year he preached about the return of Christ, often quoting from 1 Thessalonians 4. His point was always the same: “This could be the year that Jesus will return. Are you ready to meet Him?” I’ll never forget hearing that sermon at age 6, thinking, If that’s true, I’m not sure I will be among those He’s coming for. I felt certain that my parents would be going to heaven, and I wanted to go too. So, when my dad came home after church, I asked how I could be sure. He opened the Bible, read some verses to me, and talked to me about my need for a Savior. It didn’t take much to convince me of my sins. That day, my dad led me to Christ. I will be forever grateful to him for planting these truths in my heart. In an increasingly chaotic world, what a hopeful thought that this could be the year Jesus returns. More comforting still is the anticipation that all who trust Him for salvation will be gathered together, relieved from this world’s suffering, sorrow, and fear. Best of all, we’ll be with the Lord forever! —Joe Stowell Lord, keep me always mindful of Your inevitable return. Thanks for the assurance that this world is not all we have but that a blessed eternity awaits all who trust in You. Perhaps today! Dr. M. R. De Haan INSIGHT: Part of Paul’s purpose in writing to the Thessalonians was to answer questions they had apparently sent to him, perhaps through Timothy (1 Thess. 3:6). It is helpful to remember that during the first century Scripture was still being written, so followers of Christ had incomplete information about many topics. In this case, the concern is what happens to believers who die before the Lord’s return. Paul answers that believers who have died will be resurrected first (vv. 14-16). Then those who are still alive will be “caught up together with them” to meet Christ in the air (v. 17).