Today we are taking a moment to honor ALL the Men and Women who have served this Great United States of America. Just want 2 wish everyone a HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! May the Kick Off 2 U're early Summer be a BLAST!
As we jump start this last New Week of the month on this Memorial Day Holiday let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom to help us get through the rest of this week to head into the 6th month of the New Year. Read: Psalm 51:7-17
Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 10-12; John 11:30-57
A broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. —Psalm 51:17
During my friend Myrna’s travels to another country, she visited a church for worship. She noticed that as people entered the sanctuary they immediately knelt and prayed, facing away from the front of the church. My friend learned that people in that church confessed their sin to God before they began the worship service.
This act of humility is a picture to me of what David said in Psalm 51: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (v. 17). David was describing his own remorse and repentance for his sin of adultery with Bathsheba. Real sorrow for sin involves adopting God’s view of what we’ve done—seeing it as clearly wrong, disliking it, and not wanting it to continue.
When we are truly broken over our sin, God lovingly puts us back together. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This forgiveness produces a fresh sense of openness with Him and is the ideal starting point for praise. After David repented, confessed, and was forgiven by God, he responded by saying, “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise” (Ps. 51:15).
Humility is the right response to God’s holiness. And praise is our heart’s response to His forgiveness. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
Dear God, help me never to excuse or minimize my sin. Please meet me in my brokenness, and let nothing hold me back from praising Your name.
Praise is the song of a soul set free.
INSIGHT: In today’s reading, the psalmist cries, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean” (Ps. 51:7). Hyssop was a wild shrub used in several significant purification rites. On the night of the Passover, the Lord commanded the Israelites to use a hyssop branch to spread the blood of the lamb on the doorpost and lintel of their homes (Ex. 12:22). If a leper had been healed of leprosy, the priests were to use hyssop to sprinkle a mixture of blood and water onto the person as a sign of healing (Lev. 14:1-9). And on the day of the ultimate purification, a hyssop branch hoisted the sponge filled with sour wine to the lips of Jesus (John 19:28-30). Dennis Moles
We have made through another week it's FRIDAY! here are words of wisdom to help you get through the rest of your Beautiful Friday with Read: John 14:16-27
Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 1-3; John 10:1-23
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. —John 14:27
“I’m not surprised you lead retreats,” said an acquaintance in my exercise class. “You have a good aura.” I was jolted but pleased by her comment, because I realized that what she saw as an “aura” in me, I understood to be the peace of Christ. As we follow Jesus, He gives us the peace that transcends understanding (Phil. 4:7) and radiates from within—though we may not even be aware of it.
Jesus promised His followers this peace when, after their last supper together, He prepared them for His death and resurrection. He told them that though they would have trouble in the world, the Father would send them the Spirit of truth to live with them and be in them (John 14:16-17). The Spirit would teach them, bringing to mind His truths; the Spirit would comfort them, bestowing on them His peace. Though soon they would face trials—including fierce opposition from the religious leaders and seeing Jesus executed—He told them not to be afraid. The Holy Spirit’s presence would never leave them.
Although as God’s children we experience hardship, we too have His Spirit living within and flowing out of us. God’s peace can be His witness to everyone we meet—whether at a local market, at school or work, or in the gym. —Amy Boucher Pye
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for welcoming me into Your circle of love. May I share Your peace with someone in my community today.
When we keep our mind on God, His Spirit keeps our mind at peace.
INSIGHT: Today’s passage highlights one of the differences between those who know Jesus and those who do not: The Holy Spirit dwells within believers in Christ. Jesus says that His followers know Him and that the world does not know or accept Him (v. 17). It is the Spirit who identifies us as Jesus’ followers. J.R. Hudberg
Here is an Inspirational Story As told by Sally Roberts I grew up roller skating, playing softball and always having my Mom there as support. She worked the Snack Shack at the Bobbysocks Field and took me to skating lessons. However, despite always putting on her “feel good face” she was always sick - very sick. The surgeries took her clear across the United States to the Mayo Clinic, as they were the only hospital with doctors able to make an attempt at treating my Mom's Crohn's disease. I remember visit-after-visit to the hospital for months on end when my Mom battled Crohn's and infections due to her compromised immune system. Visiting my Mom and taking rides at the foot of her hospital bed was nothing abnormal for me as a kid. I ran around the house wearing hospital gowns as “jammies” and felt cool because I had a souvenir from my Mom's hospital stay. Yet, as I grew older, I knew this was not “normal.” No child, or no child's Mother/Father, should ever have to be in the hospital for months on end. They should never have to undergo 40+ surgeries. I should have never had to reaffirm my grandmother that my Mom (her daughter) was not going to die in the ICU. My Mom is the strongest woman I know. She has combated Crohn's Disease ever since I remember.
At the age of 37, I found it was my time to help in the fight when she asked me to race a half marathon in her honor in 2009. This began my journey with Team Challenge at the Napa-to-Sonoma half marathon. At a dinner table post race, I was persuaded and convinced by our team manager (Kat) that I could do a triathlon. I did not think it was possible. I was not a swimmer. I knew not how to drown, but I had zero knowledge on technique, nor did I own a bike. I also thought to myself, “Why would I do two taxing things on my body before I would run?” I had a challenging time just running. However, after just finishing the Napa race with my Team Challenge family, I signed up. I hit the registration button thinking, “What did I just do?” Well, I signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon (TriRock San Diego 2013) – that's what I did. I was sold on signing up when I was told about the excellent coaches (Skip & Linda Slade) who could teach me how to swim. A fellow TC teammate offered their bike and I had my running shoes. I was all set. What I wasn't set for was the way Team Challenge Tri was going to change my life. I look back now at the self-doubt and laugh. Challenging myself is nothing in comparison to the challenges patients fighting IBD have daily. I always have to remember even the mightiest of trees had the challenge of breaking through the earth first. I am fortunate that someone else had more belief in me than I did in myself at that table in Napa. Today, in this current chapter of my life, I am honored to race in my bright orange tri-kit with “Team Challenge” adorned across my chest, and in honor of those who have lost their battle with Crohn's & Colitis, but mostly because I know each swim stroke, push on the pedals and stride of my run is getting us closer to a cure for my Mom and the many friends I have made who battle daily with IBD. I am certain a new chapter will be written soon, and I hope it is entitled, "The day I used to TRI for a cure."
Click here to learn more about Team Challenge Tri, and how you can fight back for someone you love.
The weekend has come an gone and we are starting a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Ruth 2:1-11
Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 19-21; John 8:1-27
Why have I found such favor in your eyes? —Ruth 2:10
Ruth was a foreigner. She was a widow. She was poor. In many parts of the world today she would be considered a nobody—someone whose future doesn’t hold any hope.
However, Ruth found favor in the eyes of a relative of her deceased husband, a rich man and the owner of the fields where she chose to ask for permission to glean grain. In response to his kindness, Ruth asked, “What have I done to deserve such kindness? . . . I am only a foreigner” (Ruth 2:10 nlt).
Boaz, the good man who showed Ruth such compassion, answered her truthfully. He had heard about her good deeds toward her mother-in-law, Naomi, and how she chose to leave her country and follow Naomi’s God. Boaz prayed that God, "under whose wings" she had come for refuge, would bless her (1:16; 2:11-12; see Ps. 91:4). As her kinsman redeemer (Ruth 3:9), when Boaz married Ruth he became her protector and part of the answer to his prayer.
Like Ruth, we were foreigners and far from God. We may wonder why God would choose to love us when we are so undeserving. The answer is not in us, but in Him. “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom. 5:8 nlt). Christ has become our Redeemer. When we come to Him in salvation, we are under His protective wings. —Keila Ochoa
Dear Lord, I don’t know why You love me, but I don’t doubt Your love. I thank You and worship You!
Gratefulness is the heart's response to God's undeserved love.
INSIGHT: The book of Ruth demonstrates the redemptive nature of God’s commandments. While many Old Testament laws may sound strange to modern ears, adherence to these laws provided food for the hungry, protection for the foreigner, and hope for the childless widow. Dennis Moles
Here is our May 2016 Issue of CCFA'S Newsletter of ALL things that are going on within the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Of America. Letter from our President & CEO
Today, more than 100 IBD patients and their loved ones will visit with members of Congress to urge them to pass HR 1600—the Patients' Access to Treatments Act—which would help limit medication costs for patients, including those living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
You don't have to be with us in Washington, D.C. to make a difference though. Join the action by emailing your representative now and asking them to pass this important legislation. Learn more in our May Action Alert.
President & CEO
World IBD Day is Next Week
More than 5 million people across the globe live with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. World IBD Day is observed on May 19th as a way to raise awareness about these diseases. This year, CCFA will be going into local communities nationwide to give back—as a "thank you" for supporting our mission and the 1.6 million Americans who have IBD. Learn how you can get involved with #CCFAinAction.
We also extend our deepest thanks to our World IBD Day sponsors: Pfizer, Inc., Prometheus Therapeutics & Diagnostics, a Nestle Health Science Company, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Shire and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
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Announcing Our New Clinical Trials Community
Clinical trials are essential for the creation and approval of medication options for IBD patients. But despite the importance of these trials, there are many factors that cause incredibly long delays in their execution—resulting in fewer available treatments for patients. To help accelerate this process, CCFA is creating an IBD Clinical Trials Community, composed of gastroenterology professionals, patients and researchers.
To learn more, join us for a Twitter chat on May 20th from 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. EST. Participants will include Dr. Peter Higgins of the University of Michigan (@ibddoctor) and Crohn's patient Carly Medosch (@CarlyRM). Tag @CCFA in your questions using #IBDchat.
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Racing For Her Mom—and a Cure
Sally Roberts didn't own a bicycle or really know how to swim, but after completing her first half marathon with Team Challenge, she decided to train for a triathlon. She did it in honor of her mom, who has battled Crohn's for as long as Sally can remember.
She says, "I know each swim stroke, push on the pedals and stride of my run is getting us closer to a cure for my mom and the many friends I have made who battle daily with IBD. I am certain a new chapter will be written soon." Read her whole story here.
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You Can be a Triathlete. Team Challenge Can Help!
Is completing a triathlon on your bucket list? No matter what your current skill level is, our amazing coaches can help you cross the finish line in honor of someone you love with IBD.
This year, Team Challenge Tri takes on a new race in sunny San Diego. The San Diego Triathlon Classic offers a beginner-friendly swim course, spectacular views on the bike and a flat run through Liberty Station. Join the team, and make your miles more meaningful this summer. Training begins in June, and the race is on September 10th. Click here to learn more about Team Challenge Tri.
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Support CCFA Today
Help us raise awareness about IBD, advocate on behalf of patients, continue our cure-focused research and more.
What You Should Know About Biosimilars
Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, June 1st at 8:00 p.m. EST to learn more about "biosimilars," a new type of medication that has been introduced in the U.S. as a treatment option for chronic illnesses such as Crohn's and colitis.
REGISTER TODAY ►
It's Not Too Late to Take Steps
We have more than 40 Take Steps walks remaining this spring and summer. Connect with the IBD community and help raise critical funds and awareness for the 1.6 million American patients living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
LEARN MORE ►
Check Out CCFA's IBD Help Center
Speak with a caring Information Specialist, get all your questions answered, access the latest information on treatment options and much more. Call 888.MY.GUT.PAIN, visit us online or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEARN MORE ►
CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials and other research on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Use our search tool to access listings for current and upcoming opportunities to participate in.
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.
733 Third Avenue, Suite 510, New York, NY 10017
www.ccfa.org | 800-932-2423
Talk with an IBD Information Specialist at
888.My.Gut.Pain | 888-694-8872
The Week has come to an end we have made it to FRIDAY! Here are some words of wisdom to help you get through the rest of your day. Read: James 1:22-27
Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 10-12; John 6:45-71
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. —James 1:27
“My mother gave us chili peppers before we went to bed,” said Samuel, recalling his difficult childhood in sub-Saharan Africa. “We drank water to cool our mouths, and then we would feel full.” He added, “It did not work well.”
Government upheaval had forced Samuel’s father to flee for his life, leaving their mother as the family’s sole provider. Then his brother contracted sickle cell anemia, and they couldn’t afford medical care. Their mother took them to church, but it didn’t mean much to Sam. How could God allow our family to suffer like this? he wondered.
Then one day a man learned about their plight. He got the essential medicine and brought it to them. “On Sunday we will go to this man’s church,” his mother announced. Right away Sam sensed something different about this church. They celebrated their relationship with Jesus by living His love.
That was three decades ago. Today in this part of the world, Sam has started more than 20 churches, a large school, and a home for orphans. He’s continuing the legacy of true religion taught by James, the brother of Jesus, who urged us not to “merely listen to the word” but to “do what it says” (James 1:22). “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (v. 27).
There’s no telling what a simple act of kindness done in Jesus’ name can do. —Tim Gustafson
Sometimes the best witness is kindness.
INSIGHT: James’s letter to the churches was likely written from Jerusalem sometime before his death in ad 62. As a Jewish Christian, James wanted to be sure that both Jewish and non-Jewish Christians understood and obeyed the heart—not just the letter—of the Old Testament law. When the book of James was written, the best mirrors in the world were made of Corinthian bronze. While they were quite inferior to our modern glass mirrors, they served the same purpose—they reflected reality so the person peering in could become more presentable. James wanted his readers to know that the Scriptures are like mirrors in that they show us what is really going on inside so we can make the necessary changes. Dennis Moles
On this day May 19th We Celebrate World IBD DAY. An estimated 5 million people worldwide live with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Educate someone during #WorldIBDDay about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis by sharing this infographic. #CCFAinAction #UnitedWeStand2016
The weekend has come to an end were getting ready to start a New Week with these words of wisdom Read: Genesis 3:1-8
Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 24-25; John 5:1-24
He said to the woman, “Did God really say . . . ?” —Genesis 3:1
“I don’t think God is good,” my friend told me. She had been praying for years about some difficult issues, but nothing had improved. Her anger and bitterness over God’s silence grew. Knowing her well, I sensed that deep down she believed God is good, but the continual pain in her heart and God’s seeming lack of interest caused her to doubt. It was easier for her to get angry than to bear the sadness.
Doubting God’s goodness is as old as Adam and Eve (Gen. 3). The serpent put that thought in Eve’s mind when he suggested that God was withholding the fruit from her because “God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (v. 5). In pride, Adam and Eve thought they, rather than God, should determine what was good for them.
Years after losing a daughter in death, James Bryan Smith found he was able to affirm God’s goodness. In his book The Good and Beautiful God, Smith wrote, "God's goodness is not something I get to decide upon. I am a human being with limited understanding." Smith’s amazing comment isn’t naïve; it arises out of years of processing his grief and seeking God’s heart.
In times of discouragement, let’s listen well to each other and help each other see the truth that God is good. —Anne Cetas
Lord, we will praise You in our difficult times like the psalmist did. You know us, and we turn to You because we know You are good.
Read Why Doesn't God Answer Me? at discoveryseries.org/hp112
The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. Psalm 145:9
INSIGHT: Today’s reading unveils one of the central strategies of our enemy, Satan. In addition to suppressing God’s truth, Satan uses Scripture for his own evil ends by tempting the believer to doubt its truth. When we experience doubts concerning the Word of God, we can follow our Lord’s example and cite Scripture with confidence (Matt. 4). Scripture is an offensive weapon against our enemy (Eph. 6:10-18). Dennis Fisher
It's about that time we have made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! as we prepare ourselves for the weekend let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: 1 Peter 1:1-9
Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 17-18; John 3:19-36
Though you have not seen him, you love him. —1 Peter 1:8
Like others in the blogging community, I’d never met the man known to us as BruceC. Yet when his wife posted a note to the group to let us know that her husband had died, a string of responses from distant places showed we all knew we had lost a friend.
BruceC had often opened his heart to us. He talked freely about his concern for others and what was important to him. Many of us felt like we knew him. We would miss the gentle wisdom that came from his years in law enforcement and his faith in Christ.
In recalling our online conversations with BruceC, I gained a renewed appreciation for words written by a first-century witness of Jesus. In the first New Testament letter the apostle Peter wrote, he addressed readers scattered throughout the Roman Empire: “Though you have not seen [Christ], you love him” (1 Peter 1:8).
Peter, as a personal friend of Jesus, was writing to people who had only heard about the One who had given them reason for so much hope in the middle of their troubles. Yet, as a part of the larger community of believers, they loved Him. They knew that at the price of His own life, He had brought them into the everlasting family of God. —Mart DeHaan
Lord, we have never seen You, yet we believe in You and love You. Strengthen our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ who love You as well. Make us one community in You.
Our love for Christ is only as real as our love for our neighbor.
INSIGHT: Why was there so much tension between Jewish and Gentile followers of Christ? In part, the answer is found in how ancient Israel had come to understand their relationship with God. As His “chosen people,” Israel had been given the law of Moses and a land of promise in order for them to live in relationship with God and with one another. Clearly, no other people group was given this unique access to and relationship with God.
This relationship, however, was never intended to be simply for their benefit. As they lived in covenant relationship with God, they were also intended to draw the surrounding Gentile nations to the God who sought relationship with them as well. The prophet Isaiah had taught them, “He says, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth’” (Isa. 49:6).
As a result, Israel’s relationship with God had a missional element to it—to bring the nations to the Creator who loved them. By the time of Christ, however, this mission had not only been lost, it had been turned inside out. In the minds of the Jewish people, Gentiles had become enemies of God’s people rather than objects of God’s love.
Perhaps that is why Jesus reached out to Gentiles wherever He went: a Roman centurion, a Samaritan woman, a Canaanite woman, and more. The Son of God was teaching us by example that He had come for the lost sheep of Israel, but that He had also come to bring light to the world (John 8:12; 9:5). The heart of His children should reflect the heart of His Father, who is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
How does Jesus’s attitude toward “outsiders” inform our love for those who do not yet know Him? Are there people in your life you have been hesitant to reach out to? How can we, in prayer, seek the help and heart of our loving Father to reach out to those who need the Savior?
For further study on this important topic, read the free Discovery Series booklet How Can I Break the Silence?
The weekend has come to an end I hope everyone enjoyed Celebrating Mother's Day I know I had a Traffic time Celebrating and Honoring my Mom on Mother's Day. So here is some words of wisdom to help jump start our New Week Read: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12
Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 7-9; John 1:1-28
Encourage one another daily. —Hebrews 3:13
Richard needed a push, and he got one. He was rock climbing with his friend Kevin who was the belayer (the one who secures the rope). Exhausted and ready to quit, Richard asked Kevin to lower him to the ground. But Kevin urged him on, saying he had come too far to quit. Dangling in midair, Richard decided to keep trying. Amazingly, he was able to reconnect with the rock and complete the climb because of his friend’s encouragement.
In the early church, followers of Jesus encouraged one another to continue to follow their Lord and to show compassion. In a culture riddled with immorality, they passionately appealed to one another to live pure lives (Rom. 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:1). Believers encouraged one another daily, as God prompted them to do so (Acts 13:15). They urged each other to intercede for the body (Rom. 15:30), to help people stay connected to the church (Heb. 10:25), and to love more and more (1 Thess. 4:10).
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has connected us to one another. Therefore, we have the responsibility and privilege with God’s enablement to encourage fellow believers to finish the climb of trusting and obeying Him. —Marvin Williams
When was the last time you needed to urge someone to keep following Jesus? Who has encouraged you or stirred you to pursue holiness, to keep praying, or to enlarge your love for Jesus and others?
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Encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
INSIGHT: Paul commended the Thessalonian Christians for being “a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia” (1 Thess. 1:7). In today’s reading, Paul urges them to continue to live lives that “please God” (4:1). As believers, our desire should be to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Col. 1:10). Sim Kay Tee
On this Sunday millions are Celebrating what we know as Mother's Day. Mother's are God's angels here on earth so on this Mother's Day I think about how Special it must be to have that Mantle to be bestowed upon so many that are called to Motherhood at times it gets overwhelming but at the end of the day there is a certain type of Grace and resilience that comes with being a Mother that only God has created within us as Women. So on this day I take a moment to Honor ALL the Mother's on this Mother's Day. Wishing ALL the Mother's a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! May this day be filled with LOVE, JOY, & BLESSINGS.
The week has come to an end we have made it to FRIDAY! YES! here are some words of encouragement to help us get through the rest of the day. Read: 3 John 1:1-8
Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 21-22; Luke 23:26-56
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. —3 John 1:4
Bob and Evon Potter were a fun-loving couple with three young sons when their life took a wonderful new direction. In 1956 they attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Oklahoma City and gave their lives to Christ. Before long, they wanted to reach out to others to share their faith and the truth about Christ, so they opened their home every Saturday night to high school and college students who had a desire to study the Bible. A friend invited me and I became a regular at the Potters’ house.
This was a serious Bible study that included lesson preparation and memorizing Scripture. Surrounded by an atmosphere of friendship, joy, and laughter, we challenged each other and the Lord changed our lives during those days.
I stayed in touch with the Potters over the years and received many cards and letters from Bob who always signed them with these words: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4). Like John writing to his “dear friend Gaius” (v. 1), Bob encouraged everyone who crossed his path to keep walking with the Lord.
A few years ago I attended Bob’s memorial service. It was a joyful occasion filled with people still walking the road of faith—all because of a young couple who opened their home and their hearts to help others find the Lord. —David McCasland
Thank You, Lord, for the people who have encouraged me to keep walking in Your truth. May I honor them by helping someone along that road today.
Be a voice of encouragement to someone today.
INSIGHT: Today’s reading is taken from the apostle John’s final letter, written near the end of his life. John is the only one of the twelve apostles who was not martyred for his faith. However, according to tradition John was tortured and later exiled on the Island of Patmos. John kept in touch with those congregations he had nurtured earlier in his ministry. He wisely understood that health can be experienced in mind, body, and soul and so includes this in his prayer (v. 2). His word choice is kind and relational. He writes that his highest joy in ministry is to hear how those he has ministered to are moving on in their faith in Christ (v. 3). Dennis Fisher
So here we are we have entered into the 5th month of the New Year and we are Celebrating Cinco De Mayo WOW! Boy time is flying so on this Cinco De Mayo I just want to wish my Amigos and Amigas a very HAPPIE CINCO DE MAYO! Here is the True meaning behind Cinco De Mayo this article is taken from NBC News.
Today marks the 154th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, a bicultural celebration that has become synonymous with margaritas, cervezas (beer) and the occasional controversy. But we found most people don't know the real story behind this holiday.
So here are five facts that will probably surprise you about Cinco de Mayo:
1. It's not Mexico's Independence Day: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the triumph of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This victory occurred over 50 years after Mexico's Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.
"The significance of Cinco de Mayo is that it represents Mexican resistance to foreign intervention, it is a moment where Mexico as a young nation rallied to defend itself," said Raul Ramos, Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston. "But it was not a struggle for independence. Instead it represented a struggle against imperialism."
Ramos noted that prior to the first Cinco de Mayo, Mexico was a nation with strong regional differences, from the Pacific coast to Northern Mexico to the Yucatan. "The Battle of Puebla helped the country coalesce around the idea of a unified Mexican identity."
2. Cinco de Mayo commemorates a military victory over France — not Spain. Why was Mexico at war with France? Because the Mexican government had defaulted on its foreign debt to several European countries, so France invaded our southern neighbor.
Napoleon III hoped to install a monarchy in Mexico (which he was able to do for a few years before Mexico ousted the French). "The French army was considered the best army in the world at the time, and they had not been defeated in decades," Professor Margarita Sánchez of Wagner College told NBC News. "So this was a real David versus Goliath situation that inspired Mexicans at home and in the U.S."
3. Cinco de Mayo is a bigger celebration in the U.S. than in Mexico. "Recent Mexican immigrants are often surprised at what a huge thing Cinco de Mayo has become here," said Sánchez. "They do celebrate the holiday in Mexico, but it is only a big deal in Puebla."
In fact, Los Angeles is host to what is routinely described as the largest Cinco de Mayo party in the world, a multiday event known as Fiesta Broadway. The scale of these festivities even dwarfs those in Puebla.
"It (Cinco de Mayo) started out as a cultural celebration, then became bigger and bigger," said Sánchez. "And at some point it became very commercial; with people taking advantage of the day to drink all the Coronas they can drink."
The evolution of Cinco de Mayo can be seen as a metaphor for Mexican-American assimilation. The first American Cinco de Mayo celebrations date back to the 1860s, when Mexicans in California commemorated the victory. About a century later, Chicano activists rediscovered the holiday and embraced it as a symbol of ethnic pride.
In the 1980s and 1990s, corporations (especially the alcohol and restaurant industries) began promoting Cinco de Mayo as a way to reach Hispanic consumers and sell products like tequila and beer. So over time, this "foreign" holiday has become firmly ingrained in U.S. consciousness; Cinco de Mayo received its own commemorative postage stamp in 1998 and is also customarily observed at the White House.
4. Cinco de Mayo has a connection to the U.S. Civil War. David Hayes-Bautista, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the University of California Los Angeles, has written that Cinco de Mayo is very much an American holiday.
His research shows that the celebration began among Mexicans in California in the mid-19th century. The Battle of Puebla, he explained, occurred at a time when the Confederacy was expanding into New Mexico and Arizona, getting closer to California (which was a free state).
"Back then, when Latinos here got the news that French were stopped at Puebla, it electrified the population, and propelled them to a new level of civic participation. Latinos joined the Union army and navy and some went back to Mexico to fight the French," Hayes-Bautista told NBC News.
"For Mexicans in the U.S., the Civil War and the French invasion of Mexico were like one war with two fronts. They were concerned about France, which sided with the Confederacy, being on America's doorstep." Had the Battle of Puebla gone differently, there is a real chance that the Civil War might have gone differently.
5. The hero of the original Cinco de Mayo was a Texan. General Ignacio Zaragosa, who led the ragtag Mexican forces to victory over the superior French army, was born near what is now Goliad, Texas. "This fact should make Americans, especially Texans, very proud of their connection to that event," said Raul Ramos of the University of Houston. "But often it doesn't resonate. The Mexican aspect of Texas history has been so marginalized and ghettoized, it takes extra effort for people to learn about it."
Ramos pointed out that the fact that a Tejano (or "Tex-Mex") has a link to Cinco de Mayo reflects the reality that Mexican history is part of American history. "It gives you a sense that our countries have had a shared history going back hundreds of years," he said. "It is something that extends to cultural and national ties as well as family ties."
Margarita Sánchez of Wagner College takes a pragmatic view of what Cinco de Mayo has become. "I wish it were celebrated with more depth, with more opportunity to learn about Mexican history," she said. "But a day of celebration is a day of celebration — and that is good for everyone."
What Cinco de Mayo Is All About
We have entered the 5th month of the New Year it is now May WOW! Time is moving fast so has we start the New Week off in this New Month of May I hope these words of wisdom speak to your heart. Read: Matthew 5:13-16
Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-20
Let your light shine before others. —Matthew 5:16
A little girl wondered what a saint might be. One day her mother took her to a great cathedral to see the gorgeous stained-glass windows with scenes from the Bible. When she saw the beauty of it all she cried out loud, “Now I know what saints are. They are people who let the light shine through!”
Some of us might think that saints are people of the past who lived perfect lives and did Jesus-like miracles. But when a translation of Scripture uses the word saint, it is actually referring to anyone who belongs to God through faith in Christ. In other words, saints are people like us who have the high calling of serving God while reflecting our relationship with Him wherever we are and in whatever we do. That is why the apostle Paul prayed that the eyes and understanding of his readers would be opened to think of themselves as the treasured inheritance of Christ and saints of God (Eph. 1:18).
So what then do we see in the mirror? No halos or stained glass. But if we are fulfilling our calling, we will look like people who, maybe even without realizing it, are letting the rich colors of the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control of God shine through. —Keila Ochoa
Lord, You are the light of the world. Thank You for wanting to shine that light in our lives. Cleanse me today so that I may let Your light shine through.
Saints are people through whom God’s light shines.
INSIGHT: In John’s gospel we see that Jesus often refers to Himself as “light.” In John 8:12 and 9:5 He calls Himself “the light of the world.” He also uses this light language to talk about the kingdom of God He came to establish. In John 3:19 Jesus tells Nicodemus, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” When Jesus tells believers that they are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14), He is in a sense issuing an invitation to Christlikeness. As followers of Jesus we have been given the opportunity to shine the light of His love into the dark and dying world. Dennis Moles