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Friday, March 31, 2017

The Greatest Invitation

We have made it to the end of the week and the end of the month YES! It's FRIDAY! here are some words of wisdom before we head into the 4th month of the New Year which will be April. Read: Isaiah 55:1–7 Bible in a Year: Judges 11–12; Luke 6:1–26 Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!—Isaiah 55:1 During a recent week, I received several invitations in the mail. Those inviting me to attend “free” seminars on retirement, real estate, and life insurance were immediately thrown away. But the invitation to a gathering honoring a longtime friend caused me to reply immediately, “Yes! I accept.” Invitation + Desire = Acceptance. Isaiah 55:1 is one of the great invitations in the Bible. The Lord said to His people who were in difficult circumstances, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” This is God’s remarkable offer of inner nourishment, deep spiritual satisfaction, and everlasting life (vv. 2-3). Jesus’s invitation is repeated in the last chapter of the Bible: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Rev. 22:17). We often think of eternal life as beginning when we die. In reality, it begins when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. God’s invitation to find eternal life in Him is the greatest invitation of all! Invitation + Desire = Acceptance. —David McCasland Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promise of mercy, pardon, and eternal life. I acknowledge my failures and receive Jesus as my Savior today. When we accept Jesus’s invitation to follow Him, our whole life changes direction. INSIGHT: In Isaiah 55, the prophet draws on the imagery of a royal banquet to give discouraged Judeans hope that, despite their suffering, God’s promises to them remained trustworthy. In the background of Isaiah 55 is God’s promise of an eternal covenant with the line of David (Ps. 89:28-29). Isaiah’s report broadens God’s promise to the line of David even further, depicting a royal feast where all Judeans share the kingly role of representing Yahweh to the nations (55:3-5). When Jesus came, He said He was the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise (John 7:37) and invited everyone, especially the forgotten and marginalized, to His feast (Matt. 22:1-14). Through His Spirit, Jesus’s followers can enjoy Christ’s abundant life and, as His representatives, invite all the world to the banquet. Who might you invite to the feast? Monica Brands

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

20Th Anniversary of the Movie Selena

One of my Favorite Movie's is Celebrating it's 20th Anniversary of the Late Tejano Singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez and made Jennifer Lopez a house hole name. Selena came out March 21, 1997 Two Years after the Tejano Singer was gun down by her Fan Club President at the age of 23 years old. In this biographical drama, Selena Quintanilla is born into a musical Mexican-American family in Texas. Her father, Abraham, realizes that his young daughter is talented and begins performing with her at small venues. She finds success and falls for her guitarist, Chris Perez who draws the ire of her father. Seeking mainstream stardom, Selena begins recording an English-language album which, tragically, she would never complete. EXCLUSIVE: 'Selena' Turns 20! Her Family Reflects on Movie & Legacy: 'In My Mind She's Still Alive' FLASHBACK: Jennifer Lopez On Set of 'Selena' and Why She Didn't Sing in the Movie Selena Remembered 20 Years Later: Watch Previously Unseen Home Videos Entrevistas Ineditas En El Set De Selena La Pelicula (Jennifer Lopez y More) Selena (1997) Official Trailer - Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos Movie HD

Monday, March 27, 2017

3rd Annual Fiesta De La Flor 2017

This Past Friday and Saturday March 24th and 25th was the 3rd Annual Fiesta De La Flor which Celebrates and Honor the Tejano Star Selena Quintanilla Perez.Fiesta de la Flor celebrates the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla Perez with Texas-style family fun, food, live music, and togetherness Fiesta de la Flor, presented by CITGO, is a two-day festival celebrating the life and legacy of the Queen of Tejano music, Selena. As we approach the dates for the third annual event, the Corpus Christi Convention & Visitors Bureau (CC CVB) is proud to announce the details for this year’s festival, scheduled March 24-25 at North Bayfront Park in downtown Corpus Christi. Presenting the festival once again will be CITGO, a longtime leader in Corpus Christi and generous provider to the community. CITGO enhances the quality of life for all of Corpus Christi and the CC CVB is proud to partner with them for this extraordinary event. Preparations are underway for this year’s Fiesta de la Flor which will feature new and exciting experiences, including Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax figure of Selena, guest appearances by Jackie Cruz of Netflix hit show Orange is the New Black and Emmy Award-winner Jackie Guerra, who played Suzette in the Selena movie. Music headliners include Grammy Award-winning AB Quintanilla y Elektro Kumbia and La Mafia. Other festival features will include: El Mercado, presented by attorneys Herrman and Herrman, PLLC, will feature more than 80 artisans from Mexico, Central America, South America and within the United States. El Mercado will be located inside the spacious American Bank Center to showcase the art, clothing and accessories all crafted by the talented hands of national and international artisans. Herrman and Herrman has been a staple of the Coastal Bend for nearly two decades and they are excited to give back to the community that they serve through this festival. La Plaza, presented by Stripes, will offer a variety of dishes from dozens of food truck vendors that will be on-site serving festival-goers. Stripes will have the opportunity to showcase its very own food trucks featuring delicious menu items from their in-house provider of fresh Tex-Mex food, Laredo Taco Company. El Parque, will be a kids zone with a variety of immersive experiences that will bring hours of delightful family fun. Social Media Wall, presented by The Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay, will be the go-to place for all Fiesta de la Flor festival happenings -- much like The Outlets at Corpus Christi Bay is the go-to place for fashion and a new shopping experience in Corpus Christi. The Art Museum of South Texas serves as a perfect place to give attendees at Fiesta de la Flor the opportunity to truly celebrate Selena – who she was and how she continues to mesmerize new legions of fans today.Fiesta de la Flor – in keeping with its mission to honor her life and legacy – will take the opportunity in the 2017 festival to give fans a Selena experience like no other. Fans will immerse themselves with Selena videos, pictures and music as they go through the Art Museum that leads to the ultimate engagement Selena selfie opportunity-Madame Tussauds Hollywood Selena wax figure.In partnership with Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the Selena wax figure will make its journey to Selena’s hometown and be a part of Fiesta de la Flor. Just outside the Art Museum, the evening sky will light with glow sticks, a light show and video for a Friday and Saturday night Silent Disco experience. Showing of Selena, the movie, on the side of the Selena Auditorium.At no charge, Selena fans (and festival attendees) can sit right outside the festival boundaries and experience an interactive movie-viewing experience like no other. For fans that do not have a ticket to Fiesta de la Flor, Ride in Theater hosts a free outdoor moving A fireworks grand finale illuminating the Corpus Christi Bay presented by H-E-B. “We are excited about the elements that have been added to enhance the visitor experience at this year’s Fiesta de la Flor,” said Paulette Kluge, CEO of the CC CVB. “ We look forward to another successful event that celebrates our beautiful Selena as well as welcoming visitors from all over the world.” The entertainment line-up for this year’s event has been confirmed and is as follows: Headliners: Grammy Award winners: AB Quintanilla y Elektro Kumbia and La Mafia On Friday, March 24, performers include Finding Friday, Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz, Megan Chapa and multi-Grammy Award winner La Mafia. Saturday, March 25, entertainment will once again include Finding Friday, B-Side Players, Isabel Marie, David Marez, Las Fenix, Tejano favorite Pete Astudillo, Adalberto and The Latin Breed, and Grammy Award winner A.B. Quintanilla y Elektro Kumbia . Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March, 24 and noon Saturday, March 25 at North Bayfront Park in downtown Corpus Christi. For more information, please visit www.fiestadelaflor.com and follow all official festival updates on social media at facebook.com/fiestadelaflorcc. Madame Tussauds Hollywood's wax figure of Selena arrives in Corpus Christi Fans react to Selena's wax figure at Fiesta de La Flor Fiesta De La Flor 2017: Jackie Cruz sings Como La flor Fiesta De La Flor 2017: Fireworks See You Next Year for Fiesta De La Flor April 13th & 14th

Image Management

We have entered into the Last week of the month of March before we head into the 4th month of the New Year which is April, as we start this New Week take a moment to have an attitude of Gratitude as we go into this New Week with Read: Isaiah 43:1–9 Bible in a Year: Judges 1–3; Luke 4:1–30 You are precious and honored in my sight, and . . . I love you.—Isaiah 43:4 To celebrate Winston Churchill’s eightieth birthday, the British parliament commissioned artist Graham Sutherland to paint a portrait of the celebrated statesman. “How are you going to paint me?” Churchill reportedly asked the artist: “As a cherub, or the Bulldog?” Churchill liked these two popular perceptions of him. Sutherland, however, said he would paint what he saw. Churchill was not happy with the results. Sutherland’s portrait had Churchill slumped in a chair wearing his trademark scowl—true to reality, but hardly flattering. After its official unveiling, Churchill hid the painting in his cellar. It was later secretly destroyed. Like Churchill, most of us have an image of ourselves we want others to have of us also—whether of success, godliness, beauty, or strength. We can go to great lengths to conceal our “ugly” sides. Perhaps deep down we fear we won’t be loved if the real us is known. When the Israelites were taken captive by Babylon, they were seen at their worst. Because of their sins, God allowed their enemies to conquer them. But He told them not to fear. He knew them by name, and He was with them in every humiliating trial (Isa. 43:1-2). They were secure in His hands (v. 13) and “precious” to Him (v. 4). Despite their ugliness, God loved them. We will find ourselves less motivated to seek the approval of others when such a truth truly sinks in. God knows the real us and still loves us immeasurably (Eph. 3:18). —Sheridan Voysey God’s deep love means we can be real with others. INSIGHT: It’s not easy to accept our own failures. This may be one reason the God of Israel wanted His people to remember Him as the God of Jacob—their deeply flawed national patriarch. The prophet Isaiah called them by the new name the Lord had given their father Jacob. He called them “Israel,” a people He had made and redeemed for Himself, so He could show the whole world what it means to have a God who loves us in spite of our failures. Mart DeHaan

Friday, March 24, 2017

TEAMMATE SPOTLIGHT: Jill & Clark

This Month I'm going to take a moment to shine a light on a Mom and her son Clark who are apart of our Team Challenge Family hears there story. OUR JOURNEY with ulcerative colitis started in the spring of 2011. Clark was only 4 years old, and was having episodes of digestive problems that would come and go. After ruling out other causes, Clark had his first colonoscopy and we got the life-altering diagnosis. My husband and I had never heard of the disease and were told it would be treated with medication. We thought, “Oh great! We'll give him some medicine and he will be good.” WRONG! On that HOT Texas summer day we got in the front row of the IBD roller coaster, and it is a ride we will be on for the rest of Clark’s life! For a while his medications seemed to be working. His symptoms decreased, the blood in his stool went away, and he was essentially back to normal. Then, Clark would have a growth spurt and we would start all over. He has been on round after round of steroids and has been on several different medications. As a parent, you want to be able to “fix it” when your kids are sick or hurt. You want to be able to kiss it and make it better or put a band-aid on the boo boo and help them heal. We can’t do that with IBD. I remember feeling so helpless at one of his doctor’s appointments, and it must have shown on my face because she wrote a prescription for ME! She told me to go online and join the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation - and that was the best advise anyone could have ever given me. Shortly after that, I saw a flyer for Team Challenge. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a fan of running. In fact, I can honestly say I HATE running! But as I sat in the informational meeting it occurred to me that running may be my only way to help my child. I signed up for the race, laced up my running shoes, and hit the pavement. Since then, I have participated in 3 Team Challenge half marathons. We have met an amazing group of people who have become our family and support group. They rejoice with us when Clark gets a great test result, and cry with us when he is flaring or has a setback. Clark has been a team honoree for 3 seasons and he LOVES being involved by going to the training sessions and handing out water. It helps him see that there are so many people who have the same thing he has who are running, walking, and fundraising to help find a cure. Team Challenge has taught Clark to be an advocate for himself and get the word out about Crohn’s and colitis. He has become very educated on his disease and has expressed a desire to become a doctor or scientist when he grows up so he can help find cures. We are so lucky that up until this point we have been able to maintain Clark’s colitis with medication, and unlike several of our teammates, he has not needed to go through surgery or hospital stays. But we know there is always a chance that those two things are in our future. Having this in our minds is always incentive to want to do more, raise more, and keep running with Team Challenge. This year Clark joined the team himself and crossed the finish line at the Rock ‘n' Roll New Orleans 10k - 10 days after he turned 10 years old! He loved being part of the team and our family loved getting to cheer him on. Because of Team Challenge, he has taken a proactive approach to ensuring he has a healthy future and has an amazing support group behind him. Joining Team Challenge has been one of the best things that could have happened to our family and we are so thankful for everything it does! We hope you join us in the fight for cures.

His Wonderful Face

Made it to the end of the Week it's FRIDAY! Yes! lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom to help us prepare for the weekend. Read: 1 Chronicles 16:8–27 Bible in a Year: Joshua 16–18; Luke 2:1–24 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. —1 Chronicles 16:11 My four-year-old son is full of questions, and chatters constantly. I love talking with him, but he’s developed an unfortunate habit of talking to me even when his back is turned. I often find myself saying, “I can’t hear you—please look at me when you’re talking.” Sometimes I think God wants to say the same thing to us—not because He can’t hear us, but because we can tend to talk to Him without really “looking” at Him. We pray, but we remain caught up in our own questions and focused on ourselves, forgetting the character of the One we’re praying to. Like my son, we ask questions without paying attention to the person we’re talking to. Many of our concerns are best addressed by reminding ourselves of who God is and what He has done. By simply refocusing, we find comfort in what we know of His character: that He is loving, forgiving, sovereign, graceful. The psalmist believed we ought to seek God’s face continually (Ps. 105:4). When David appointed leaders for worship and prayer, he encouraged the people to praise God’s character and tell stories of His past faithfulness (1 Chron. 16:8-27). When we turn our eyes toward the beautiful face of God, we can find strength and comfort that sustain us even in the midst of unanswered questions. —Amy Peterson Lord, let the light of Your face shine upon us. Our Daily Bread welcomes writer Amy Peterson! Meet Amy and all our authors at odb.org/all-authors. Seeking the face of God can strengthen our faith. INSIGHT: The Israelites worshiped the Lord around the ark of the covenant. To commemorate the ark’s return, David composed a song of worship for the occasion. This song exalts God’s power and celebrates His presence. David calls on the people to “seek his face always” (1 Chron. 16:11) and to fear and worship Him (vv. 25, 29-30). What does it mean for you “to seek his face always”? Sim Kay Tee

Monday, March 20, 2017

Running and Rest

We are in are 3rd week of the New month of March we have just step into the First Day of Spring with these words of wisdom as we start this New Week Read: Mark 6:30–46 Bible in a Year: Joshua 4–6; Luke 1:1–20 [Jesus] said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”—Mark 6:31 The headline caught my eye: “Rest Days Important for Runners.” In Tommy Manning’s article, the former member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team emphasized a principle that dedicated athletes sometimes ignore—the body needs time to rest and rebuild after exercise. “Physiologically, the adaptations that occur as a result of training only happen during rest,” Manning wrote. “This means rest is as important as workouts.” The same is true in our walk of faith and service. Regular times of rest are essential to avoid burnout and discouragement. Jesus sought spiritual balance during His life on Earth, even in the face of great demands. When His disciples returned from a strenuous time of teaching and healing others, “He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31). But a large crowd followed them, so Jesus taught them and fed them with only five loaves and two fish (vv. 32-44). When everyone was gone, Jesus “went up on a mountainside to pray” (v. 46). If our lives are defined by work, then what we do becomes less and less effective. Jesus invites us to regularly join Him in a quiet place to pray and get some rest. —David McCasland Lord Jesus, thank You for Your example of prayer alone with Your Father. Give us wisdom and determination to make rest a priority as we follow You. In our life of faith and service, rest is as important as work.

Friday, March 17, 2017

After You

So we have come to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Genesis 13:1–18 Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 30–31; Mark 15:1–25 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.—Genesis 13:9 In some cultures a younger person is expected to permit his elder to enter a room first. In others, the most important or highest ranking individual enters first. No matter what our traditions, there are times when we find it difficult to allow someone to choose first on important matters, especially when that privilege rightfully belongs to us. Abram (later called Abraham) and his nephew Lot had so many flocks, herds, and tents that the land could not support both of them as they traveled together. To avoid conflict, Abram suggested they part company and generously gave Lot first choice of the land. His nephew took the fertile Jordan Valley, leaving Abram with the less desirable land. Abram did not insist on his rights as the elder in this situation but trusted his future to God. “So Abram said to Lot, ‘Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me . . . . Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left’ ” (Gen. 13:8-9). Lot’s choice eventually led to dire consequences for his entire family (see Gen. 19). Today, as we face choices of many kinds, we can trust our Father to guide us in His way. He has promised to care for us. He will always give us what we need. —David McCasland Father, Your unfailing love and faithfulness guide us in every choice we make. May our lives speak well of You and honor You today. God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with Him. Jim Elliot

Monday, March 13, 2017

Surprise Interview

Here we are starting a New Week with these words of wisdom to help us accomplish the week that is head of us Read: Acts 26:9–15 Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 20–22; Mark 13:21–37 The King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”—Matthew 25:40 nlt On a crowded London commuter train, an early morning rider shoved and insulted a fellow passenger who got in his way. It was the kind of unfortunate and mindless moment that usually remains unresolved. But later that day, the unexpected happened. A business manager sent a quick message to his social media friends, “Guess who just showed up for a job interview.” When his explanation appeared on the Internet, people all over the world winced and smiled. Imagine walking into a job interview only to discover that the person who greets you is the one you had shoved and sworn at earlier that day. Saul also ran into someone he never expected to see. While raging against a group called the Way (Acts 9:1-2), he was stopped in his tracks by a blinding light. Then a voice said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (v. 4). Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The One speaking to him replied, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (26:15). Years earlier Jesus had said that how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, and the prisoner reflects our relationship to Him (Matt. 25:35-36). Who would have dreamed that when someone insults us, or when we help or hurt another, the One who loves us takes it personally? —Mart DeHaan Father, forgive us for acting as if You were not present in our moments of need, hurt, anger, or compassion. When we help or hurt one another, Jesus takes it personally. INSIGHT: Commentator William Barclay says, “One of the extraordinary things about the great characters in the New Testament story is that they were never afraid to confess what once they had been.” In today’s passage, Paul describes how Christ had transformed his life from someone who once persecuted Christ and His followers to someone who proclaims the truth of the gospel. His former way of life no longer defined him. A personal testimony is an effective witnessing tool. A simple way of telling our story is to write down answers to three simple questions: What characterized my life before receiving Christ? What were the circumstances when I chose to receive Him? How has my life changed since I trusted Jesus for salvation? Dennis Fisher

Friday, March 10, 2017

Home

So here we are another week has come an gone it's FRIDAY! Here are some wordsto help us ALL reflect on this past week with Read: Ephesians 2:11–22 Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 11–13; Mark 12:1–27 You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people.—Ephesians 2:19 A young African refugee who goes by the name of Steven is a man without a country. He thinks he may have been born in Mozambique or Zimbabwe. But he never knew his father and lost his mother. She fled civil war, traveling country to country as a street vendor. Without ID and unable to prove his place of birth, Steven walked into a British police station, asking to be arrested. Jail seemed better to Steven than trying to exist on the streets without the rights and benefits of citizenship. The plight of living without a country was on Paul’s mind as he wrote his letter to the Ephesians. His non-Jewish readers knew what it was like to live as aliens and outsiders (2:12). Only since finding life and hope in Christ (1:13) had they discovered what it meant to belong to the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3). In Jesus, they learned what it means to be known and cared for by the Father He came to reveal (Matt. 6:31-33). Paul realized, however, that as the past fades from view, a short memory can cause us to forget that, while hope is the new norm, despair was the old reality. May our God help us to live in security—to know each day the belonging that we have as members of His family is by faith in Jesus Christ and to understand the rights and benefits of having our home in Him. —Mart DeHaan Lord, as we remember how hopeless we were before You found us, please help us not to forget those who are still on the street. Hope means the most to those who have lived without it. INSIGHT: It’s easy to feel lost. The apostle Paul knew some of his readers felt that way. In his letter to the Ephesians, he wrote to them about being part of God’s family. They were no longer “foreigners” and “excluded” (2:12) but were “fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (v. 19). How does knowing you are part of God’s family help when you feel lost and alone? J.R. Hudberg

Monday, March 6, 2017

Loving Perfectly

Getting ready to start this New Week off with these words of wisdom Read: 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 1–2; Mark 10:1–31 [Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.—1 Corinthians 13:7–8 Her voice shook as she shared the problems she was having with her daughter. Worried about her teenager’s questionable friends, this concerned mum confiscated her daughter’s mobile phone and chaperoned her everywhere. Their relationship seemed only to go from bad to worse. When I spoke with the daughter, I discovered that she loves her mum dearly but is suffocating under a smothering love. She longs to break free. As imperfect beings, we all struggle in our relationships. Whether we are a parent or child, single or married, we grapple with expressing love the right way, saying and doing the right thing at the right time. We grow in love throughout our lifetime. In 1 Corinthians 13 the apostle Paul outlines what perfect love looks like. His standard sounds wonderful, but putting that love into practice can be absolutely daunting. Thankfully, we have Jesus as our example. As He interacted with people with varying needs and issues, He showed us what perfect love looks like in action. As we walk with Him, keeping ourselves in His love and steeping our mind in His Word, we’ll reflect more and more of His likeness. We’ll still make mistakes, but God is able to redeem them and cause good to come out of every situation, for His love “always protects” and it “never fails” (vv. 7-8). —Poh Fang Chia Lord, our intentions are good but we fail each other in so many ways. Thank You for being our model in showing us how to live and love. To show His love, Jesus died for us; to show our love, we live for Him. INSIGHT: Do you ever find yourself hurting those you love, and maybe even forgetting in the emotion of the moment how much you really do care about them? If so, keep in mind that long before Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13 he was an angry man who was mindlessly hurting the God he thought he knew and loved (Acts 9:1-6). So what brought about Paul’s change? First he needed to see how wrong he’d been about Jesus. He also needed to see that knowing the law is not the same as keeping it—and that he himself needed not only mercy but also the help of the Spirit of God to love others as God loved him. The Spirit who brought him from law to grace now invites and leads us into the loving patience and kindness that our Lord wants to express in and through us. Mart DeHaan

Friday, March 3, 2017

Two Portraits

So here we are in the 3rd month of the New Year it's MARCH! already time is moving it's the end of the week YES! It's FRIDAY! here are some words of wisdom to reflect on Read: John 16:19–24 Bible in a Year: Numbers 28–30; Mark 8:22–38 Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.—John 16:22 Clutching two framed photographs, the proud grandmother showed them to friends in the church foyer. The first picture was of her daughter back in her homeland of Burundi. The second was of her grandson, born recently to that daughter. But the daughter wasn’t holding her newborn. She had died giving birth to him. A friend approached and looked at the pictures. Reflexively, she reached up and held that dear grandmother’s face in her hands. All she could say through her own tears was, “I know. I know.” And she did know. Two months earlier she had buried a son. There’s something special about the comfort of others who have experienced our pain. They know. Just before Jesus’s arrest, He warned His disciples, “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.” But in the next breath He comforted them: “You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy” (John 16:20). In mere hours, the disciples would be devastated by Jesus’s arrest and crucifixion. But their crushing grief soon turned to a joy they could not have imagined when they saw Him alive again. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering” (Isa. 53:4). We have a Savior who doesn’t merely know about our pain; He lived it. He knows. He cares. One day our grief will be turned into joy. —Tim Gustafson Lord, thank You for going to the cross for us. We certainly know trouble in this world, but You overcame the world and took our sin and pain for us. We look forward to the day when our sorrows will be turned into joy and we see You face to face. When we put our cares into His hands, He puts His peace into our hearts. INSIGHT: It was necessary for Jesus, who is fully God, to be made in every respect like us—fully human—so that He could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people. Only by becoming a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. While on earth, the Lord Jesus “walked in our shoes” and, therefore, He fully knows and understands us. We are now to walk in His “shoes” and imitate His example of compassion and care. “In your relationships with one another,” Paul tells us, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). How can you bring comfort to others today by walking in Jesus’s shoes? Sim Kay Tee