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Friday, June 30, 2017

Time to Flourish

So here we are we have made it to FRIDAY! and to the end of June with these words of wisdom Read: Luke 13:1–9 Bible in a Year: Job 17–19; Acts 10:1–23 “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it.”—Luke 13:8 Last spring I decided to cut down the rose bush by our back door. In the three years we’d lived in our home, it hadn’t produced many flowers, and its ugly, fruitless branches were now creeping in all directions. But life got busy, and my gardening plan got delayed. It was just as well—only a few weeks later that rose bush burst into bloom like I’d never seen before. Hundreds of big white flowers, rich in perfume, hung over the back door, flowed into our yard, and showered the ground with beautiful petals. My rose bush’s revival reminded me of Jesus’s parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9. In Israel, it was customary to give fig trees three years to produce fruit. If they didn’t, they were cut down so the soil could be better used. In Jesus’s story, a gardener asks his boss to give one particular tree a fourth year to produce. In context (vv. 1-5), the parable implies this: The Israelites hadn’t lived as they should, and God could justly judge them. But God is patient and had given extra time for them to turn to Him, be forgiven, and bloom. God wants all people to flourish and has given extra time so that they can. Whether we are still journeying toward faith or are praying for unbelieving family and friends, His patience is good news for all of us. —Sheridan Voysey I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5. God has given the world extra time to respond to His offer of forgiveness. INSIGHT: Right before the words of today’s passage, Jesus described how His coming causes division between those who accept Jesus and the new reality He brings and those who reject Him (Luke 12:49-56). Words like these could have led some to interpret tragedies like lives lost in a collapsed tower (13:4) as God’s judgment. But Jesus rejected this way of thinking (v. 5), teaching that we should not condemn others, but instead look at ourselves. The parable of the barren fig tree (vv. 6-9) illustrates that although God is merciful and has given the world extra time to turn to Him (v. 9), a choice to live in Him must be made. That’s the only way to live fruitfully.How can you, instead of condemning others, focus more deeply on your response to Christ? Monica Brands

Monday, June 26, 2017

Very Good!

As we start this New in the last week of June How many of us have taken a moment to reflect on just How FAST time is flying pretty soon Summer will be over and we will be Celebrating Christmas but lets not get ahead of ourselves lets STOP right here and just THANK GOD for this day with these words of wisdom. Read: Genesis 1:24–31 Bible in a Year: Job 5–7; Acts 8:1–25 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!—Genesis 1:31 nlt Some days seem to have a theme running through them. Recently I had one of those days. Our pastor began his sermon on Genesis 1 with two minutes of breathtaking, time-lapse photography of blossoming flowers. Then, at home, a scroll through social media revealed numerous posts of flowers. Later on a walk in the woods, the wildflowers of spring surrounded us—trilliums, marsh marigolds, and wild iris. God created flowers and every other variety of vegetation (and dry ground to grow in), on the third day of creation. And twice on that day, God pronounced it “good” (Gen. 1:10, 12). On only one other day of creation—the sixth—did God make that double pronouncement of “good” (vv. 25, 31). In fact, on this day when He created humans and His masterpiece was complete, He looked over all He had made and “saw that it was very good!” (nlt). In the creation story, we see a Creator God who delighted in His creation—and seemed to take joy in the very act of creating. Why else design a world with such colorful and amazing variety? And He saved the best for last when He “created mankind in his own image” (v. 27). As His image-bearers we are blessed and inspired by His beautiful handiwork. —Alyson Kieda Dear Creator God, thank You for creating the world in all its beauty for our enjoyment—and Yours. Thank You too for making us in Your image so that we would be inspired to create. All creation bears God’s autograph. INSIGHT: Do we sometimes get lost in thinking about all that is wrong with the world? When we do, remember how the God of creation asked a man named Job to consider what the wonder of all nature is saying to us about His goodness and wisdom (Job 38:1-42:6). Mart DeHaan

Friday, June 23, 2017

Playing in Concert

So here we are another week has passed us by lets be Thankful that we have made it to the end of the week YES! it's FRIDAY! lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Romans 12:3–8 Bible in a Year: Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21 So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.—Romans 12:5-6 During our granddaughter’s school band concert, I was impressed by how well this group of 11- and 12-year-olds played together. If each of them had wanted to be a solo performer, they could not have achieved individually what the band did collectively. The woodwinds, brass, and percussion sections all played their parts and the result was beautiful music! To the followers of Jesus in Rome, Paul wrote, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Rom. 12:5-6). Among the gifts Paul mentioned are prophecy, service, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy (vv. 7-8). Each gift is to be exercised freely for the good of all (1 Cor. 12:7). One definition of in concert is “agreement in design or plan; combined action; harmony or accord.” That’s the Lord’s plan for us as His children through faith in Jesus Christ. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (v. 10). The goal is cooperation, not competition. In a sense, we are “on stage” before a watching and listening world every day. There are no soloists in God’s concert band, but every instrument is essential. The music is best when we each play our part in unity with others. —David C. McCasland Lord, You are the Conductor of our lives. We want to play Your song of love and grace in concert with Your children today. There are no soloists in God’s orchestra. INSIGHT: There are five listings of spiritual gifts in the New Testament: Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 12:28-30; Ephesians 4:9-11; and 1 Peter 4:11. In each of these lists the emphasis is not on how many different types of gifts there are, but on how we are to use them in a loving way that promotes unity in the church, builds up the spiritual maturity of the believers, and brings glory to the Lord. To achieve this, Paul tells us not to think too highly or too lowly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). We are to use our spiritual giftedness in humility (v. 3) and embrace diversity in the body of Christ with sincere love (v. 9) and mutual respect (v. 10).How has God gifted you? How can you use your spiritual gifts to promote unity and harmony in the church? Sim Kay Tee

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Welcome to the First Day Of Summer!

Welcome to the First Day Of Summer! as of Today June 21st we have step into the Summer Solstice the Next 3 months or so is going to be filled with lots of Beach parties with family and friends alot of beautiful Vacation Time to soak in the Sun and be surround by the beauty that is Mother Nature. As we take this moment to step out of the month of Spring to step into a whole another Season take a moment to reflect on just How Fast time is flying by, also take a moment to have an attitude of Gratitude for ALL that God has done for you. I want to Wish everyone a HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SUMMER! May it be filled with Love, Laughter & Joy. Here to Summer 2017!!!

A moment to say thank you

Here is our June 2017 CCFA Newsletter Uniting to Care and Cure! JUNE 2017 ISSUE Letter from our President & CEO I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to our members, donors, and community members. As you know, Crohn’s and colitis come with not only debilitating physical pain but may also affect a patient’s mental health — causing anxiety, depression, guilt, and more. Thanks to you, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has nurtured a community of patients and their loved ones so that no one has to face these diseases alone. By visiting our website, patients can find more than 38 local chapters that hold more than 200 support groups across the country, where patients and family members can connect to others living with these diseases. And if patients prefer peer-to-peer support, they can find that too, as well as a 24/7 online community. We are committed to providing places where people can share their stories, seek emotional support, find answers to their questions, and connect with a community that shares their unique challenges. And you make that possible. Thank you, Michael Osso President & CEO Be Part of Take Steps! Take Steps to end Crohn's & Colitis! "Being a part of Take Steps creates the best kind of awareness about these terrible diseases. It is a great outlet for the people who are directly affected by Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I encourage anyone that can to be part of one. There is something about all of us walking together for the same great purpose, shared love, and being loud and proud that is so uplifting!" — Allison, Crohn’s disease patient and Take Steps participant When you join Take Steps, you become part of a supportive community that helps the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation fund research into better treatments and ultimately cures for IBD. Register your team today for an upcoming Take Steps walk and get started by making a personal donation to the cause. You can make a difference! Thank you to AbbVie for their commitment as a 2017 Take Steps national partner. AbbVie’s longstanding and continued partnership helps support our critical research activities. LEARN MORE ► Choose Your Event, Set Your Own Goal! Choose your event, set your goal Team Challenge is excited to announce a new option in the race against Crohn’s and colitis — Race in Orange. Whether you love to run/walk a 5k, get dirty in a mud run, cruise in a cycle event, or try a triathlon… you can now help fight IBD — with no fundraising commitment! Set your own goal. The more you raise, the more rewards you receive. But you’re not on your own — you’ll receive tons of fundraising support and templates to make your fundraising easy AND FUN! Click here to learn more, and have a local manager contact you to take the first step! LEARN MORE ► this is why we spin4 crohn’s and colitis cures™ IBD forced Liz to put her goals and dreams on hold when she was just 21-years-old. IBD forced Liz to put her goals and dreams on hold when she was just 21-years-old. She has fought through pain, weight loss, medication changes, and surgery in an effort to find remission. Her passion for making Crohn’s and colitis things of the past led her to the spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures™ movement. Click here to read about her incredible journey with IBD, and learn why this event means so much to her. Join the movement and #partyonabike with us this fall to help end IBD! LEARN MORE ► Have you joined yet? Become a member of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation today, and be part of the community that’s uniting to care and cure. IBD does not need to get in the way of your vacation plans. Travel Tips for Summer Vacationing IBD does not need to get in the way of your vacation plans. Planning ahead and preparing for unexpected events are critical to ensuring a smooth trip. To help you prepare for your summer vacation, we have put together some valuable tips: Traveling with IBD. Additionally, patients can take some of the worries out of air travel by reading our Air Travel Frequently Asked Questions. For further information and resources, please contact the IBD Help Center at 888-694-8872 or Join our Facebook chat on June 21. June Facebook Chat: IBD Treatment Approaches There are a lot of factors that go into decisions around how to treat each individual case of IBD. Some doctors may use a “step up” treatment approach, beginning treatment with aminosalicylates and progressing up to biologic therapies, while other doctors may use a “top down” approach, beginning with biologics. Regardless of which is used, the ultimate goal is inducing and maintaining remission in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis where there is an absence of symptoms. Join the Foundation on Wednesday, June 21 at 5 p.m. EST for a Facebook Live video chat to discuss different IBD approaches with Dr. Ryan Ungaro of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Ungaro will discuss “step up” and “top down” approaches along with emerging therapies on the horizon and new treatment approaches for treating Crohn’s and colitis. The chat will take place live at Submit your questions before the chat to Join our Twitter chat on June 29. June Twitter Chat: Surviving the Summer with IBD The “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer” are upon us, and with warm weather comes some concerns for IBD patients. Join Dr. Neil Nandi (@NandiFITWITMD) and ulcerative colitis patient Laura Scaviola (@MangiaPaleo) for a live Twitter chat on June 29 from 8-9 p.m. EST to chat about surviving summer with IBD — from barbecues to fun in the sun to travel, and everything in between. Tweet your questions during the chat using the hashtag #IBDchat to participate! The Foundation provides a comprehensive database of studies, clinical trials, and other research opportunities on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Here are a few of the recently added studies: (Genentech Hickory) Hickory (GA28950) Phase III, randomized, double-blind comparison between etrolizumab and placebo to evaluate efficacy and safety of etrolizumab in patients with active ulcerative colitis who have less than adequate response to TNF inhibitors. (Genentech Bergamot) A Phase III, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of Etrolizumab as an Induction and Maintenance Treatment for Patients with Moderately to Severely Active Crohn's Disease (Bergamot GA29144) (Gilead — 3898) Combined Phase 2b/3, Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Studies Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Filgotinib in the Induction and Maintenance of Remission in Subjects with Moderately to Severely Active Ulcerative Colitis (Gilead — 3899) A Long-Term Extension Study to Evaluate the Safety of Filgotinib in Subjects with Ulcerative Colitis (Gilead — 4016) A Phase 2, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Filgotinib in the Treatment of Perianal Fistulizing Crohn's Disease 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 Talk with an I​BD Info​rmation Specialist at 88​8.M​y.Gu​t.P​ain | 8​88-​69​4-8​87​2 Unsubscribe or update your email preferences Click here to Reply or Forward 3.82 GB (25%) of 15 GB used Manage Terms - Privacy Last account activity: 2 minutes ago Details

Monday, June 19, 2017

Driven by God

So here we are in the 3rd week of June as we start this New Week with Summer in just a couple of day's let's take a moment to refresh are thoughts with these words of wisdom Read: 1 Kings 8:54–63 Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 12–13; Acts 4:23–37 May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him.—1 Kings 8:58 A few months ago I received an email inviting me to join a community of “driven people.” I decided to look up the word driven, and I learned that a driven person is someone highly motivated to succeed and who will work hard to achieve his goals. Is it good to be a driven person? There is a test that never fails: “Do it all for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Many times we do things for self-glory. After the flood in Noah’s day, a group of people decided to build a tower in order to “make a name” for themselves (Gen. 11:4). They wanted to be famous and avoid being scattered all over the world. Because they were not doing it for God’s glory, though, they were erroneously driven. In contrast, when King Solomon dedicated the ark of the covenant and the newly constructed temple, he said, “I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord” (1 Kings 8:20). Then he prayed, “May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in obedience to him and keep the commands” (v. 58). When our greatest desire is to bring glory to God and walk in obedience, we become driven people who seek to love and serve Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Let our prayer echo Solomon’s. May our “hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands” (v. 61). —Keila Ochoa Father, give me the desire to obey You and do everything for Your glory. For help in your spiritual growth, read God at the Center at Do everything for the glory of God. INSIGHT: As you work hard to achieve your goals, ask God to give you a humble and obedient heart that is fully committed to Him.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Made Alive

It's the end of the week we have made it through the second week of June with these words of wisdom Read: Ephesians 2:1–10 Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 4–6; Acts 2:22–47 You were dead in your transgressions and sins.—Ephesians 2:1 As a young man, my dad was traveling with a group of friends to an out-of-town sporting event when the tires of their car slipped on the rain-soaked roads. They had an accident—a bad accident. One of his friends was paralyzed and another was killed. My dad was declared dead and taken to the morgue. His shocked and grief-stricken parents came to identify him. But my dad revived from what turned out to be a deep coma. Their mourning turned to joy. In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul reminds us that apart from Christ we are “dead in [our] transgressions and sins” (v. 1). But because of His great love for us, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (vv. 4-5). Through Christ we have been brought from death to life. So in every sense, we all owe our life to the Father in heaven. Through His great love, He has made it possible for those of us who were dead in sin to have life and purpose through His Son. —Bill Crowder Thank You, Father, for love that conquers sin, life that conquers death, and grace that has conquered my heart. May my life be a sweet aroma of praise to You. We owed a debt we could not pay, but Jesus paid the debt He did not owe. INSIGHT: In most world religions, people seek to gain favor from a deity—whether offering a sacrifice or promising to change one’s ways, the emphasis on human works is central. Yet in the writings of Paul we see that through Christ’s sacrifice we are saved by God’s grace and not by works. This is the central theme of the gospel. What is so extraordinary about the free gift of salvation by faith is its eternal impact. Although we will someday have to face physical death, the spiritual death of eternal separation from God has been replaced with eternal life.Have you received this gift of new spiritual life that Christ offers? Dennis Fisher

Monday, June 12, 2017

Nothing Is Useless

So here we are in the 3rd week of June as we start this New Week lets take some time to reflect on these words of wisdom to help get us through this week Read: 1 Corinthians 15:42–58 Bible in a Year: Ezra 3–5; John 20 Nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.—1 Corinthians 15:58 nlt In my third year battling discouragement and depression caused by limited mobility and chronic pain, I confided to a friend, “My body’s falling apart. I feel like I have nothing of value to offer God or anyone else.” Her hand rested on mine. “Would you say it doesn’t make a difference when I greet you with a smile or listen to you? Would you tell me it’s worthless when I pray for you or offer a kind word?” I settled into my recliner. “Of course not.” She frowned. “Then why are you telling yourself those lies? You do all those things for me and for others.” I thanked God for reminding me that nothing we do for Him is useless. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul assures us that our bodies may be weak now but they will be “raised in power” (v. 43). Because God promises we’ll be resurrected through Christ, we can trust Him to use every offering, every small effort done for Him, to make a difference in His kingdom (v. 58). Even when we’re physically limited, a smile, a word of encouragement, a prayer, or a display of faith during our trial can be used to minister to the diverse and interdependent body of Christ. When we serve the Lord, no job or act of love is too menial to matter. —Xochitl Dixon Jesus, thank You for valuing us and using us to build up others. Do what you can with what you have and leave the results to God.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Reason to Sing

So here we are the week has come to an end it's FRIDAY! with these words of wisdom Read: 2 Chronicles 20:14–22 Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 32–33; John 18:19–40 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.—Psalm 47:6 Singing changes the brain! Some studies show that when we sing, our bodies release hormones that relieve anxiety and stress. Other research indicates that when a group of people sings together, their heartbeats actually synchronize with each other. The apostle Paul’s writing encourages the church to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19). And the Bible repeats, “Sing praise” more than fifty times. In 2 Chronicles 20, we read a story of God’s people demonstrating their trust in God by singing as they marched into battle. Enemies were heading toward the people of Judah. Alarmed, King Jehoshaphat called everyone together. He led the community in intense prayer. They didn’t eat or drink, but only prayed, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (v. 12). The next day, they set out. They weren’t led by their fiercest warriors, but by their choir. They believed God’s promise that they would be delivered without having to fight at all (v. 17). While they sang and walked toward the conflict, their enemies fought each other! By the time God’s people reached the battlefield, the fighting had ended. God saved His people as they marched by faith toward the unknown, singing His praises. God encourages us to praise Him for good reasons. Whether or not we are marching into battle, praising God has power to change our thoughts, our hearts, and our lives. —Amy Peterson God, we praise Your everlasting love and faithfulness! You protect and guide us, and we trust You with our lives. Hearts in tune with God sing His praises.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Honoring Prince Rogers Nelson June 7, 1958

Today is the day we Honor our PURPLE King PRINCE ROGERS NELSON Born on June 7, 1958. On this day June 7th God blessed the World with our PURPLE King Prince Rogers Nelson honoring what would have been his 59th. I'm so Thankful 2 God 4 U're gift of Music that have touched Millions ALL over the world and how U blessed the world with it. Just know this 2 The World U were a Mighty Prince BUT 2 this Queen U will ALWAYS be my Mighty PURPLE KING.

Monday, June 5, 2017

What Do We Want?

So here we are in the 6th month of the New Year we have started the New Week in the month of June, so as we start this week lets take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Romans 8:1–11 Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 23–24; John 15 He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.—Romans 8:11 “I went from the horse-and-buggy to a man walking on the moon,” said the elderly man to his granddaughter, who shared this story with me recently. But then he mused, “I never thought it would be so short.” Life is short, and many of us turn to Jesus because we want to live forever. That’s not bad, but we don’t comprehend what eternal life really is. We tend to crave the wrong things. We long for something better, and we think it’s just ahead. If only I were out of school. If only I had that job. If only I were married. If only I could retire. If only . . . And then one day we catch an echo of our grandfather’s voice as we wonder where the time has flown. The truth is, we possess eternal life now. The apostle Paul wrote, “The law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2). Then he said, “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (v. 5). In other words, our desires change when we come to Christ. This naturally gives us what we most desire. “The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (v. 6). It’s one of life’s great lies that we need to be somewhere else, doing something else, with someone else before we start truly living. When we find our life in Jesus, we exchange regret over life’s brevity for the full enjoyment of life with Him, both now and forever. —Tim Gustafson Lord, You said You came to give us life to the fullest, but so often we have our own agenda and the wrong goals in mind. Please forgive us, and help us desire what You want. To live forever we must let Jesus live in us now. INSIGHT: Read John 10:10 to see what Jesus said about eternal life. What hinders you from enjoying life on earth now?To read more on the subject of contentment see Cultivating a Heart of Contentment at

Friday, June 2, 2017

Table Rock

Made it to the end of the week in the 6th month of the New Year Welcome to the month of June now let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Luke 6:46–49 Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 17–18; John 13:1–20 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”—Luke 6:46 A large, illuminated cross stands erect on Table Rock, a rocky plateau overlooking my hometown. Several homes were built on neighboring land, but recently the owners have been forced to move out due to safety concerns. Despite their close proximity to the firm bedrock of Table Rock, these homes aren’t secure. They have been shifting atop their foundations—nearly three inches every day—causing risk of major water pipes breaking, which would accelerate the sliding. Jesus compares those who hear and obey His words to those who build their homes on rock (Luke 6:47-48). These homes survive the storms. By contrast, He says homes built without a firm foundation—like people who don’t heed His instruction—cannot weather the torrents. On many occasions, I’ve been tempted to ignore my conscience when I knew God asked more of me than I had given, thinking my response had been “close enough.” Yet the homes in the shifting foothills nearby have depicted for me that being “close” is nowhere near enough when it comes to obeying Him. To be like those who built their homes on a firm foundation and withstand the storms of life that so often assail us, we must heed the words of our Lord completely. —Kirsten Holmberg Help me, Lord, to obey You fully and with my whole heart. Thank You for being my firm foundation. God’s Word is the only sure foundation for life. INSIGHT: To fully appreciate Jesus’s comments in Luke 6:46-49, it’s helpful to keep in mind the fuller content of His teachings in this chapter (see vv. 20-49). Luke 6 captures many of the same teachings found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7)—teachings that are revolutionary in cultures dominated by the powerful and where weakness is looked down on. Jesus invited His followers into God’s reality—where it is those who know their brokenness, the poor and persecuted, who God is especially near to (vv. 20-25), and where strength is demonstrated in forgiving even our enemies (vv. 27-36).A temptation when hearing Jesus’s words is to be moved and inspired without wrestling with the ways His words demand change in our lives. Jesus knew that would be our tendency, and so He emphasizes that an emotional confession (“Lord, Lord,” v. 46) is of no value if we do not obey, if we do not let His words challenge the way we live and what we believe. Building our lives on Him means a life of daily transformation, of daily following Him.What “norms” in your life do you think Jesus’s words might challenge?For further study, see Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Oswald Chambers at Monica Brands