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Friday, September 30, 2016

Bad Faith, Good Faith

It's FRIDAY! YES! and we have come to the end of the month of September before we enter into the 10th month of the New Year which is October let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Romans 4:18-25 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9-10; Ephesians 3 [Abraham] did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.—Romans 4:20 “You gotta have faith,” people say. But what does that mean? Is any faith good faith? “Believe in yourself and all that you are,” wrote one positive thinker a century ago. “Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” As nice as that may sound, it falls to pieces when it crashes into reality. We need a faith in something bigger than ourselves. God promised Abram he would have a multitude of descendants (Gen. 15:4-5), so he faced a huge obstacle—he was old and childless. When he and Sarah got tired of waiting for God to make good on His promise, they tried to overcome that obstacle on their own. As a result, they fractured their family and created a lot of unnecessary dissension (see Gen. 16 and 21:8-21). Nothing Abraham did in his own strength worked. But ultimately he became known as a man of tremendous faith. Paul wrote of him, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be’” (Rom. 4:18). This faith, said Paul, “was credited to him as righteousness” (v. 22). Abraham’s faith was in something far bigger than himself—the one and only God. It’s the object of our faith that makes all the difference. —Tim Gustafson Lord, I want a strong faith in You, not just faith in myself or my abilities or in others. I am nothing without You. Our faith is good if it’s in the right Person. INSIGHT: The central theme of Romans is that humanity cannot save itself and that God justifies the sinner by grace through faith in Jesus alone (Rom. 1:16-17). Paul reveals that all people—Jews and Gentiles—are sinners. All have sinned. All stand condemned before our holy God (3:23). Sinners are saved, not by obeying the law, but by God’s actions of justifying the sinner through faith in Jesus (3:22-26). We are justified (declared righteous and made right with God) by grace alone (sola gratia), through faith alone (sola fide) and in Christ alone (solus Christus).

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

See Your Support in Action

Here is September CCFA Newsletter. Letter from our President & CEO I have some wonderful news! Thanks to our amazing members and supporters, we raised more than $160,000 during this summer's Members Match Challenge. These extra funds will deliver a much-needed boost to everything we're working so passionately on at CCFA—including our Microbiome, Genetics, Pediatric Research, CCFA Partners, IBD Qorus™, and IBD Plexus® initiatives. To learn more about these programs, please take a look at our latest annual report. It's a great way to see all the progress we’ve made in the past year—and your incredible support in action—as we continue to work together toward better treatments and cures for IBD. Thank you again, Michael Osso President & CEO Change Your Life & the Lives of Others! Susan is both the mother of an IBD patient and a patient herself—but that hasn’t stopped her from completing four Team Challenge events. When asked about the effect IBD has had on her family, Susan says, "Crohn’s disease continually hangs over our head. When might the next flare be? What triggers it? What side effects will I have to suffer because of the medicines I have to take? It’s like walking on eggshells… but I will walk on 13.1 miles of eggshells every year until there's a cure." Read Susan's inspirational story and see how Team Challenge is transforming lives on the way to cures! READ MORE ► September Rally for Medical Research On September 22, CCFA will join a broad coalition of groups at the Rally for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. We will be advocating for robust federal funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the nation's largest biomedical research government agency, which supports nearly $130 million annually for research on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This research portfolio is essential for advancing the science on IBD, improving the quality of life for patients, and ultimately finding cures. Help us Rally for Medical Research! Email your legislators through our Rally for Medical Research Action Alert and participate in our social media Thunderclap. LEARN MORE ► Support CCFA Your tax-deductible gift will fund critical research on Crohn's and ulcerative colitis—and provide support to people suffering from these debilitating diseases. Together, We have the #power2cure! Party on a bike this fall with spin4 crohn's & colitis cures—a high-energy indoor cycling event that raises funds for research, awareness, and patient services. Form a team, or take on the entire ride yourself. Learn more on Facebook and/or have a team member contact you! LEARN MORE ► You Can Prevent Colorectal Cancer It's important to know that colorectal cancer is highly treatable if caught soon enough—so early detection is crucial. Hear our experts discuss the procedures that can help detect colorectal cancer, as well as risks for patients and ways to reduce them. LEARN MORE ► World Ostomy Day Twitter Chat Join Meg of the Front Butt You Tuber for a World Ostomy Day Twitter Chat on September 30 from 1-2 p.m. EST. We'll be discussing all things ostomy with other patients and healthcare professionals. To join, follow #OstomyChat on Twitter and tweet questions to @ccfa and @FrontButtYouTR. Follow us ► CCFA provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials, and other research on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Here are two of the recently added studies: A Phase 2a, Multicenter, Single Arm, Open-Label, Two-Stage, Study to Evaluate the Efficacy, Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of PF-06480605 in Patients with Moderate to Severe Ulcerative Colitis (Tuscany Study B7541002). All participants in the study will receive the investigational drug with no placebo. A Multiple Dose Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability and Microbiome Dynamics of SER-287 in Subjects with Mild-to-Moderate Ulcerative Colitis.This Phase 1b clinical study will also attempt to identify preliminary signs of efficacy in patients with UC. 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. 7​33 Th​ird Av​en​ue, Sui​te 51​0, Ne​w Y​ork,​ N​Y 10​01​7 | 8​00-​93​2-​2​423

Monday, September 26, 2016

Calming Your Soul

So here we are at the end of the 9th month of the New Year September has come an gone, we are starting a New Week but before we head into the 10th month of the New Year which is October BUT before we even step foot into the month of October let's take a moment to reflect on the month of September as we continue with the remainder of this week with these words of wisdom. Read: Matthew 11:25-30 Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1-2; Galatians 5 Be still, and know that I am God.—Psalm 46:10 While attending a concert, my mind detoured to a troublesome issue that insisted on my attention. Thankfully, the distraction was short-lived as the words of a beautiful hymn began to reach deep into my being. A men’s a capella group was singing “Be Still, My Soul.” Tears welled up as I listened to the words and contemplated the restful peace that only God can give: Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; leave to thy God to order and provide; in every change He faithful will remain. When Jesus was denouncing the unrepentant towns where He had done most of His miracles (Matt. 11:20-24), He still had words of comfort for those who would come to Him. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened . . . . learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (vv. 28-29). This statement is striking! Immediately following His strong words for those who were rejecting Him, Jesus extended an invitation to all to draw near to Him to find the peace we all yearn for. Jesus is the only one who can calm our restless, weary souls. —Joe Stowell I come to You now, Lord, in need of rest for my heart. Help me to trust You and be confident in Your love. For further study, read The Lord Is My Shepherd at When we keep our minds on Jesus, He keeps our minds at peace. INSIGHT: Our passage today comes on the heels of Jesus denouncing the cities where most of His miracles were performed (Matt. 11:20-24). Bethsaida, one of the denounced cities, literally means “fisherman’s house.” It was a village on the north side of the Sea of Galilee and could have been the birthplace of three of the disciples: Andrew, Peter, and Philip.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Words for the Weary

Made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! almost getting ready to wrap up the month of September but before we did let reflect on these words of wisdom with an attitude of Read: Isaiah 50:4-10 Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 1-3; Galatians 2 The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.—Isaiah 50:4 A few days after his father died, 30-year-old C. S. Lewis received a letter from a woman who had cared for his mother during her illness and death more than two decades earlier. The woman offered her sympathy for his loss and wondered if he remembered her. “My dear Nurse Davison,” Lewis replied. “Remember you? I should think I do.” Lewis recalled how much her presence in their home had meant to him as well as to his brother and father during a difficult time. He thanked her for her words of sympathy and said, “It is really comforting to be taken back to those old days. The time during which you were with my mother seemed very long to a child and you became part of home.” When we struggle in the circumstances of life, an encouraging word from others can lift our spirits and our eyes to the Lord. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote, “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary” (50:4). And when we look to the Lord, He offers words of hope and light in the darkness. —David McCasland Heavenly Father, help me to hear Your word of hope today. And help me to speak words of hope and encouragement to others, pointing them to You. Kind words can lift a heavy heart. INSIGHT: The Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary gives this description of Jesus Christ as the Suffering Servant: “[In Isaiah 50:1-11] it is revealed how the Servant learned through his own rejection to comfort the weary and discouraged. The phrase ‘Sovereign Lord’ occurs four times and may be better translated ‘My Master God.’ It emphasized that the Servant had a Master (God) to whom he submitted and in whom he found help. The ‘words of wisdom’ (50:4) was a reference to his speaking or prophetic ministry. The followers of the Servant were called upon to trust in God, who would bring judgment upon the disobedient (50:10-11).” Gratitude.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Worth the Calories?

The weekend has come to an end we have entered into a New Week with these words of wisdom. Read: Philippians 4:4-9 Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33 If anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.—Philippians 4:8 I love egg roti prata, a popular pancake in my country of Singapore. So I was intrigued to read that a 125-pound (57 kg) person must run 5 miles (8 km) per hour for 30 minutes to burn 240 calories. That’s equivalent to only one egg roti prata. Ever since I started working out in the gym, those numbers have taken on a new significance for me. I find myself asking: Is this food worth the calories? While it is wise to watch our food consumption, it is even more important to watch our media consumption. Research shows that what we see can stay in our minds for a long time and influence our behavior. It has a “clingy effect,” sticking to us like that stubborn fat we find so hard to lose. With the wide variety of media content surrounding us today, we need to be discerning consumers. That doesn’t mean we read only Christian literature or watch only faith-related movies, but we are careful about what we allow our eyes to see. We might ask ourselves: Is this worth my time? In Philippians 4:8, the apostle Paul tells us in essence, “Feed your eyes and minds on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.” This is a “diet” worthy of what Christ has done and is doing in us. —Poh Fang Chia Are my viewing habits enhancing my life or are they drawing me away from things that really matter? Help me, Lord, to make wise choices. The mind is formed by what it takes in. Will Durant INSIGHT: Philippians is one of Paul’s prison letters (written while a prisoner). Professor Reggie Kidd makes this observation: “Paul’s emotional state was complex. On the one hand, he was suffering. But on the other hand, he made a conscious decision to focus on the good things rather than on the bad things. And this choice helped him endure the sufferings of prison as well as his mistreatment at the hands of other preachers (see Phil. 1:17-18). And Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:6-8 was consistent with this attitude. . . . Thinking optimistically, and fighting against anxiety and discouragement, is a means of calling upon God to guard our hearts and minds. And therefore, it is also a means of persevering.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

A Pleasing Aroma

The week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! as we prepare ourselves for the weekend let's take a moment to just reflect on the Goodness of Go and ALL that he has done for us let us reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: 2 Corinthians 2:12-17 Bible in a Year: Proverbs 25-26; 2 Corinthians 9 We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.—2 Corinthians 2:15 A perfumer who works in New York declares that she can recognize certain combinations of scents and guess the perfumer behind a fragrance. With just a sniff she can say, “This is Jenny’s work.” When writing to the followers of Christ in the city of Corinth, Paul at one point used an example that would have reminded them of a victorious Roman army in a conquered city burning incense (2 Cor. 2:14). The general would come through first, followed by his troops and then the defeated army. For the Romans, the aroma of the incense meant victory; for the prisoners, it meant death. Paul said we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ’s victory over sin. God has given us the fragrance of Christ Himself so we can become a sweet-smelling sacrifice of praise. But how can we live so we spread this pleasing fragrance to others? We can show generosity and love, and we can share the gospel with others so they can find the way to salvation. We can allow the Spirit to display through us His gifts of love, joy, and kindness (Gal. 5:22-23). Do others observe us and say, “This is Jesus’s work”? Are we allowing Him to spread His fragrance through us and then telling others about Him? He is the Ultimate Perfumer—the most exquisite fragrance there will ever be. —Keila Ochoa Do others recognize the work of God in my life? Am I spreading the fragrance of Christ? How? A godly life is a fragrance that draws others to Christ. INSIGHT: Among the ancient Roman military elite, the greatest honor afforded a general was after a military triumph. The general of the victorious army would parade through the streets of Rome as crowds shouted their praise. The aroma of the incense that burned on the altars in the pagan temples would waft over the city during this time of celebration. In today’s reading, Paul uses this picture to describe the triumph we have as believers in Jesus Christ: “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Cor. 2:14). Paul understood that we spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ to others.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ready for the Wedding

We are starting the New Week off with these words of wisdom to motivate us for the week that is ahead of us. Read: Matthew 25:1-13 Bible in a Year: Proverbs 13-15; 2 Corinthians 5 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.—Matthew 25:13 “I’m hungry,” said my eight-year-old daughter. “I’m sorry,” I said, “I don’t have anything for you. Let’s play tic-tac-toe.” We had been waiting over an hour for the bride to arrive at the church for what was supposed to be a noon wedding. As I wondered how much longer it would be, I hoped I could occupy my daughter until the wedding started. As we waited, I felt like we were enacting a parable. Although the vicarage where we live is a stone’s throw from the church, I knew if I went to fetch some crackers, the bride could come at any moment and I would miss her entrance. As I employed many distraction techniques with my hungry daughter, I also thought about Jesus’s parable about the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). Five came prepared with enough oil for their lamps to stay lit as they waited for the bridegroom, but five did not. Just as it was too late for me to dash back to the vicarage, so it was too late for the young women to go and buy more oil for their lamps. Jesus told this parable to emphasize that we need to be prepared, for when He comes again we will give an account over the state of our hearts. Are we waiting and ready? —Amy Boucher Pye What does waiting for Jesus’s return look like in your life? Have you left something undone that you could attend to today? We need to be ready for Christ to come again. INSIGHT: David Wenham, in his book The Parables of Jesus, comments on the parable of the ten virgins: “It speaks of waiting for the coming of the master—in this case the bridegroom—and of being prepared or unprepared for one’s appointed task and of being rewarded or punished . . . . This is a particularly suggestive picture of the outcome of final judgment.” We don’t know when we will see the Bridegroom. Perhaps we will be alive and looking for Him when he returns or we will be raised from the dead and meet Him in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17). What is important is that we are ready when He comes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Matters Most

We have made it to the end of the week it FRIDAY! as we reflect on the week lets have a moment of Gratitude for ALL the things we have made it through to see another day with these words of wisdom. Read: 1 John 4:7-19 Bible in a Year: Proverbs 6-7; 2 Corinthians 2 He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.—1 John 4:9 As Jesus’s beloved disciple John grew older, his teaching became increasingly narrowed, focusing entirely on the love of God in his three letters. In the book Knowing the Truth of God’s Love, Peter Kreeft cites an old legend which says that one of John’s young disciples once came to him complaining, “Why don’t you talk about anything else?” John replied, “Because there isn’t anything else.” God’s love is certainly at the heart of the mission and message of Jesus. In his earlier gospel account, John recorded the words, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The apostle Paul tells us that God’s love is at the core of how we live, and he reminds us that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). God’s love is so strong, available, and stabilizing that we can confidently step into each day knowing that the good things are gifts from His hand and the challenges can be faced in His strength. For all of life, His love is what matters most. —Bill Crowder Thank You, O Lord, that Your love is rich and pure, measureless and strong! God’s love stands when all else has fallen. INSIGHT: In 1 John we see what characterizes a life that exhibits God’s supernatural love. The Greek word for this kind of love is agape, a self-sacrificial giving of one’s self in time, money, or energy. At the root of this divine care is the idea of esteem. God values human beings because we reflect His image

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Together we have the #power2cure

We are in the 9th month of the New Year which is September and here is Emily Price Story about #power2cure. Emily Price was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2006, when she was about to start her first year of high school. Horrible abdominal pain, overwhelming fatigue, and intestinal symptoms kept her home many days from school. Approaching her junior year in 2008, she took a one year leave of absence to undergo a bowel resection, and then had another operation to remove her entire colon during the spring of 2011, a month before graduation. She started a pre-med program at NYU with the hopes of going to medical school and one day helping to find a cure for IBD, but unfortunately, her disease has forced her to put her education on hold. In the past ten years, she’s been on most every medication available to Crohn’s patients and had a total of seven surgeries since diagnosis. While her case has been challenging to treat, Crohn’s disease has not stopped Emily from living a full life – and fighting for cures. Her and her family have been involved with Team Challenge, Take Steps, and other chapter volunteer opportunities. When she heard about spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures, she jumped on the opportunity to be involved with this fun new CCFA event! When asked about why she is excited to join the movement, and spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures, Emily said: “During periods of illness where running & other exercise just isn’t an option, I take lots and lots of indoor cycle classes! I love the upbeat music, the heart-pounding workout, and the security of knowing I can go at my own pace. I am really excited about spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures because it’s for anyone of all ability levels, even me!” #partyonabike with us this fall -- reserve your spot today or have one of our team contact you to learn more. Together, we have the #power2cure Crohn’s & colitis!

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Bubble Break

As we start the New Week on this Labor Day holiday Summer has come to an end and we are approaching the Fall of the year let's just take a moment to reflect on ALL that God has done for us as we wrap up the END of Summer with these word of wisdom. Read: 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 Bible in a Year: Psalms 146-147; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.—2 Corinthians 4:18 A young boy showered my husband, Carl, and me with bubbles as he came running by us on the Atlantic City boardwalk. It was a light and fun moment on a difficult day. We had come to the city to visit our brother-in-law in the hospital and to help Carl’s sister who was struggling and having trouble getting to her doctors’ appointments. So as we took a break and walked along the seaside boardwalk we were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the needs of our family. Then came the bubbles. Just bubbles blown at us whimsically by a little boy in the ocean breeze—but they had a special significance to me. I love bubbles and keep a bottle in my office to use whenever I need the smile of a bubble break. Those bubbles and the vast Atlantic Ocean reminded me of what I can count on: God is always close. He is powerful. He always cares. And He can use even the smallest experiences, and briefest moments, to help us remember that His presence is like an ocean of grace in the middle of our heavy moments. Maybe one day our troubles will seem like bubbles—momentary in light of eternity for “what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:18). —Anne Cetas What gifts of grace has God given to you in a difficult time? How might you be a blessing to others? Share with us on our Facebook page: Jesus provides an oasis of grace in the desert of trials. INSIGHT: In fulfilling his calling as an apostle (Acts 9:15), Paul endured great suffering. But in the midst of great opposition, persecution, and painful suffering, Paul’s refrain is: “We do not lose heart” (2 Cor. 4:1, 16). His confidence is not rooted in himself but in God’s sovereign power, in His sustaining grace, in Christ’s resurrected life, and in the expectation of future reward and eternal glory (vv. 7-18).

Friday, September 2, 2016

How to Carve a Duck

We have made it to the end of the week and step into the 9th month of the New Year Welcome to September with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 138:7-8; Ephesians 2:6-10 Bible in a Year: Psalms 137-139; 1 Corinthians 13 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.—Romans 8:29 My wife, Carolyn, and I met Phipps Festus Bourne in 1995 in his shop in Mabry Hill, Virginia. Bourne, who died in 2002, was a master wood carver whose carvings are almost exact replicas of real objects. “Carving a duck is simple,” he said. “You just look at a piece of wood, get in your head what a duck looks like, and then cut off everything that doesn’t look like it.” So it is with God. He looks at you and me—blocks of rough wood—envisions the Christlike woman or man hidden beneath the bark, knots, and twigs and then begins to carve away everything that does not fit that image. We would be amazed if we could see how beautiful we are as finished “ducks.” But first we must accept that we are a block of wood and allow the Artist to cut, shape, and sand us where He will. This means viewing our circumstances—pleasant or unpleasant—as God’s tools that shape us. He forms us, one part at a time, into the beautiful creature He envisioned in our ungainly lump of wood. Sometimes the process is wonderful; sometimes it is painful. But in the end, all of God’s tools conform us “to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29). Do you long for that likeness? Put yourself in the Master Carver’s hands. —David Roper Father, You are the craftsman who shapes me. You are the one who knows what shape my life should take. Thank You for carving me into the image You have planned. Help me to trust that the pieces and parts that You shave from me are the right ones. Growing in Christ comes from a deepening relationship with Him. INSIGHT: We are God’s handiwork, and our Father will not abandon the work of His hands. Ephesians 2:6-10 provides further insight into the theme of God’s handiwork. After Christ’s atoning death, God raised Him from the dead “and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (v. 20). Those who believe in Him have been given new life by God’s grace.