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Monday, August 28, 2017

Paying Attention

So here we are in the last week of August before we step into the 9t month of the New Year which is September as we start this New week let's finish out this last week of August strong with these words of wisdom Read: Psalm 41:1–3 Bible in a Year: Psalms 123–125; 1 Corinthians 10:1–18 Blessed is he who considers the poor.—Psalm 41:1 nkjv John Newton wrote, “If, as I go home, a child has dropped a halfpenny, and if, by giving it another, I can wipe away its tears, I feel I have done something. I should be glad to do greater things; but I will not neglect this.” These days, it’s not hard to find someone in need of comfort: A care-worn cashier in a grocery store working a second job to make ends meet; a refugee longing for home; a single mother whose flood of worries has washed away her hope; a lonely old man who fears he has outlived his usefulness. But what are we to do? “Blessed is he who considers the poor,” wrote David (Ps. 41:1 nkjv). Even if we can’t alleviate the poverty of those we meet along the way we can consider them—a verb that means “to pay attention.” We can let people know we care. We can treat them with courtesy and respect, though they may be testy or tiresome. We can listen with interest to their stories. And we can pray for them or with them—the most helpful and healing act of all. Remember the old paradox Jesus gave us when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Paying attention pays off, for we’re happiest when we give ourselves away. Consider the poor. —David H. Roper Father, as we go through our day, show us the everyday folks who need our attention. Grant us the love and the patience to truly consider them, as You have so patiently loved us. Only a life given away for love’s sake is worth living. Frederick Buechner INSIGHT: This psalm is a touching reminder of God’s heart for the suffering and an invitation for His people to share in His compassion. Many have speculated about the details of the psalm. Some suggest the scheming and painful betrayal detailed in verses 5-9 fit with the period of David’s life when his son Absalom attempted to steal the throne, a rebellion supported by David’s counselor Ahithophel. In the New Testament, Jesus applied the psalm to Himself in reference to Judas’s betrayal (see John 13:18). The psalm’s opening verses introduce the foundation for compassion—God’s own heart, which is so focused on the poor and suffering that His blessing rests on those who care about them (vv. 1-3). The word weak or poor (v. 1) includes connotations of poverty, weakness, and helplessness. When we “consider” (v. 1 nkjv) the poor, we follow the example of Jesus—who had such compassion that He Himself became poor for us, leaving heaven to live among us as a human (2 Cor. 8:9). How does this psalm offer hope to those feeling betrayed and alone? How can we share Jesus’s compassion for all who are suffering? Monica Brands

Friday, August 25, 2017

Lured Away

Made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! so as we take an account of ALL that has transpired over this week Let's continue to have Grateful hearts that God was watching over us with these words of wisdom Read: James 1:5–6, 12–15 Bible in a Year: Psalm 119:1–88; 1 Corinthians 7:20–40 Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.—James 1:14 In the summer of 2016, my niece convinced me to play Pokémon Go—a game played on a smartphone, using the phone’s camera. The object of the game is to capture little creatures called Pokémon. When one appears in the game, a red and white ball also appears on the phone’s screen. To capture a Pokémon, the player has to flick the ball toward it with the movement of a finger. Pokémon are more easily caught, however, by using a lure to attract them. Pokémon characters aren’t the only ones who can be lured away. In his New Testament letter to believers, James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us that we “are dragged away by [our] own evil desire” (1:14, emphasis added). In other words, our desires work with temptation to lure us down a wrong path. Though we may be tempted to blame God or even Satan for our problems, our real danger lies within. But there is good news. We can escape the lure of temptation by talking to God about the things that tempt us. Though “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone,” as James explains in 1:13, He understands our human desire to do what’s wrong. We have only to ask for the wisdom God promised to provide (1:1–6). —Linda Washington Lord, when I’m tempted, show me the door of escape. Pray your way past the urge to do wrong. INSIGHT: The word translated “tempted” or “tempting” (used four times in James 1:13) comes from the Greek word peirasmos, which has two basic meanings. The first is to test the genuineness of one’s faith. This is the meaning in verses 2-4 when James encourages believers who are tempted to rejoice because “the testing of your faith” brings maturity. The second meaning, “to entice to sin or to do evil,” is intended in verses 13-15. God will not tempt or entice us to sin. His perfect holiness, purity, and goodness ensure this. Instead, the enticement to sin comes from our own sinful desires. This is the meaning of peirasmos in Matthew 26:38-41. In the garden of Gethsemane, as Christ was struggling with the necessity of going to the cross, He asked His disciples to pray with Him; instead, they slept. Jesus cautioned, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation” (v. 41). As we turn our temptations over to God in prayer, He will “provide a way out so that [we] can endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). For further study on this subject, reflect on Psalm 119:9-11. What do these verses say will help us overcome temptation? Sim Kay Tee

Monday, August 21, 2017

Be Still

The weekend as come to an end we have entered into the start of the 4th week of this month, as we start this New Week here are some word of wisdom to help you get through the rest of this week Read: Psalm 46:1–11 Bible in a Year: Psalms 107–109; 1 Corinthians 4 The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.—Psalm 46:11 “We’ve created more information in the last five years in all of human history before it, and it’s coming at us all the time” (Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload). “In a sense,” Levitin says, “we become addicted to the hyperstimulation.” The constant barrage of news and knowledge can dominate our minds. In today’s environment of media bombardment, it becomes increasingly difficult to find time to be quiet, to think, and to pray. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God,” reminding us of the necessity to take time to focus on the Lord. Many people find that a “quiet time” is an essential part of each day—a time to read the Bible, pray, and consider the goodness and greatness of God. When we, like the writer of Psalm 46, experience the reality that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (v. 1), it drives our fear away (v. 2), shifts our focus from the world’s turmoil to God’s peace, and creates a quiet confidence that our Lord is in control (v. 10). No matter how chaotic the world may become around us, we can find quietness and strength in our heavenly Father’s love and power. —David C. McCasland Heavenly Father, we bring our noisy lives and our cluttered minds to You so that we can learn to be still and know that You are God. Each day we need to be still and listen to the Lord. INSIGHT: Getting away to a quiet place can be a way to settle our thoughts. But sometimes the thought of being alone with our thoughts is uncomfortable. Psalm 46 speaks to us about being quiet in the presence of “the God of Jacob,” who is our fortress. Jacob (later named Israel) was a rascal, a liar, and a fugitive from his family. Jacob struggled with God and God determined Jacob would know Him (see Gen. 32:22-32). It is through Jacob’s line centuries later that Jesus was born to offer us peace and forgiveness. What could it mean to be still before God, who desired to lovingly father people like Jacob and who desires to be in intimate relationship with each of us? Mart DeHaan

Friday, August 18, 2017

Spin 4 Crohn's The Bet Meet Team Will and Jordan

Here are two inspirational story of Two Team's Spinning for Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis meet Will and Jordan Will and Jordan are ulcerative colitis patients who met on a patient education advisory board. They discovered that they both liked fitness...and the bromace, we mean friendship, was born from there. the bet. Are you on team Will or team Jordan? Who's bike do you think will raise the most & have the largest impact on our mission? Who will have to ride shirtless with the other's name painted on their chest? (watch the video above!) Jordan will be pedaling with purpose in Orange County, CA on November 4th - with his team "crohn thugs-n-harmony." Will is joining the #partyonabike on December 2nd in New York. Jordan will be there too - trust us, you don't want to miss these two on our live broadcast! instagram facebook spin4.org/teamjordan. Tune into Facebook & Instagram for LIVE coverage of Will & Jordan during both events! More details, photos & videos to be posted here, check back often. team Will:
Will "As a fitness trainer, I've always priortized health and exercise. Unknown to many, underneath my fit exterior lies the effects of a disease that has plagued my body for more than a decade. In 2005, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. In 2014, my flares began to get worse. I expected to hear that my disease was active and my treatment would need to be changed...what I didn't expect to hear was that I had colon cancer at 28 years old." Read more of Will's story at spin4.org/teamwill.
team Jordan: "I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2010 and in 2012 I had to have my entire large intestine removed due to a severe flare. It was a very challenging period and now I'm trying to give back to the ibd community in as many ways as I can. I want to inspire patients and let them know there are people out there fighting for them." Read more of Jordan's story at spin4.org/teamjordan. learn more Join the movement, #partyonabike, and make a difference in the lives of 1.6 million americans!

You’re an Original

Made it to the end of the 3rd week of August it's FRIDAY! we only have 2 more weeks to go BOY! Time is moving as we wrap up this week let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Read: Psalm 100 Bible in a Year: Psalms 100–102; 1 Corinthians 1 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his.—Psalm 100:3 Each of us is an original from God’s hand. There are no self-made men or women. No one ever became talented, buffed, or bright all by himself or herself. God made each of us all by Himself. He thought of us and formed us out of His unspeakable love. God made your body, mind, and soul. And He isn’t done with you; He is still making you. His single-minded purpose is our maturity: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). God is making you braver, stronger, purer, more peaceful, more loving, less selfish—the kind of person you’ve perhaps always wanted to be. “[God’s] unfailing love continues forever and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Ps. 100:5 nlt). God has always loved you (“forever” goes both ways), and He will be faithful to you to the end. You’ve been given a love that lasts forever and a God who will never give up on you. That’s a good reason to have joy and to “come before him with joyful songs”! (v. 2). If you can’t carry a tune, just give Him a shout-out: “Shout for joy to the Lord” (v. 1). —David H. Roper I’m grateful, Father, that You are at work in me. I find it difficult to change and I wonder sometimes how or if I ever will. Yet I know that You are continuing Your work in me and as I look back I will see the growth You are producing. Thank You! Spiritual growth occurs when faith is cultivated. INSIGHT: The book of Psalms is commonly known as the hymnbook of ancient Israel. But the opening line of Psalm 100 takes this beautiful hymn out of the sanctuary of Israel and places it in the mouths of everyone: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” Since this is written to “all the earth,” what follows applies to all of us. Because God is the Creator of all, He is also the Father of all. We all belong to Him; we are the “sheep of his pasture” (v. 3). We are all called to give Him thanks and praise, even though believers may be the only ones who answer this call. We are commissioned to help those who do not recognize God and His faithfulness to “enter his gates” (v. 4). Who can you invite into His “gates”? How can you show and tell them about God’s goodness and enduring love? How can you thank Him for His faithfulness to you? For more on the book of Psalms read, Together With God at dhp.org/nw924.html. J.R. Hudberg

Monday, August 14, 2017

Love for Children

As we enter into the 3rd week of August an the start of a New Week let's take a moment to just reflect on the Goodness of God as we reflect on these words of wisdom Read: Matthew 18:1–10 Bible in a Year: Psalms 89–90; Romans 14 Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.—Matthew 19:14 nlt Thomas Barnado entered the London Hospital medical school in 1865, dreaming of life as a medical missionary in China. Barnado soon discovered a desperate need in his own front yard—the many homeless children living and dying on the streets of London. Barnado determined to do something about this horrendous situation. Developing homes for destitute children in London’s east end, Barnado rescued some 60,000 boys and girls from poverty and possible early death. Theologian and pastor John Stott said, “Today we might call him the patron saint of street kids.” Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children” (Matt. 19:14 nlt). Imagine the surprise the crowds—and Jesus’s own disciples—must have felt at this declaration. In the ancient world, children had little value and were largely relegated to the margins of life. Yet Jesus welcomed, blessed, and valued children. James, a New Testament writer, challenged Christ-followers saying, “Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans . . . in their troubles” (James 1:27 nlt). Today, like those first-century orphans, children of every social strata, ethnicity, and family environment are at risk due to neglect, human trafficking, abuse, drugs, and more. How can we honor the Father who loves us by showing His care for these little ones Jesus welcomes? —Bill Crowder See the book A Cup of Cold Water in His Name: 60 Ways to Care for the Needy by Lorie Newman at dhp.org/jd007.html. Be an expression of the love of Jesus. INSIGHT: Speaking into a context where social status was central, Jesus made the revolutionary claim that true greatness is found through being humble like children (Matt. 18:3-4), who had no status on their own. He further declared that harming a child is a grave sin (vv. 6, 10). His is a kingdom dedicated to uplifting and cherishing the vulnerable (v. 5). Monica Brands

Friday, August 11, 2017

If Only . . .

The end of the week is here we have made it to FRIDAY! Let's continue to give Thanks to God for allowing us to see another week with these words of wisdom Read: John 11:21–35 Bible in a Year: Psalms 81–83; Romans 11:19–36 Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.—John 11:32 As we exited the parking lot, my husband slowed the car to wait for a young woman riding her bike. When Tom nodded to indicate she could go first, she smiled, waved, and rode on. Moments later, the driver from a parked SUV threw his door open, knocking the young bicyclist to the pavement. Her legs bleeding, she cried as she examined her bent-up bike. Later, we reflected on the accident: If only we had made her wait . . . If only the driver had looked before opening his door. If only . . . Difficulties catch us up in a cycle of second-guessing ourselves. If only I had known my child was with teens who were drinking . . . If only we had found the cancer earlier . . . When unexpected trouble comes, we sometimes question the goodness of God. We may even feel the despair that Martha and Mary experienced when their brother died. Oh, if Jesus had only come when He first found out that Lazarus was sick! (John 11:21, 32). Like Martha and Mary, we don’t always understand why hard things happen to us. But we can rest in the knowledge that God is working out His purposes for a greater good. In every circumstance, we can trust the wisdom of our faithful and loving God. —Cindy Hess Kasper Father, You have carried me through hard circumstances before. Thank You for teaching me to trust Your heart of love even when I don’t understand what You are doing in my life. For encouragement read, Why? Seeing God in Our Pain at discoveryseries.org/cb151. To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark—that is faith. Charles Haddon Spurgeon INSIGHT: Jesus’s absence is what greatly troubled Mary and Martha. They cried, “Lord, . . . if you had been here” (John 11:21, 32). But God has promised, “Never will I leave you” (Heb. 13:5). We may not understand why hard things happen, but in confident trust we can say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid” (v. 6). Sim Kay Tee

Monday, August 7, 2017

Life to the Full

The weekend has come to and end and we are gearing up for a New Week as we start this New Week let keep in mind to be Thankful for ALL things with these words of wisdom. Read: Mark 10:28–31; John 10:9–10 Bible in a Year: Psalms 72–73; Romans 9:1–15 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.—John 10:10 When I stopped by to visit my sister’s family, my nephews eagerly showed me their new chore system, a set of Choropoly boards. Each colorful electronic board keeps track of their chores. A job well done means the kids can hit a green button, which adds points to their “spending” account. A misdeed like leaving the back door open results in a fine being deducted from the total. Since a high-points total leads to exciting rewards such as computer time—and misdeeds deduct from that total—my nephews are now unusually motivated to do their work and to keep the door closed! The ingenious system had me joking that I wished I had such an exciting motivational tool! But of course God has given us motivation. Rather than simply commanding obedience, Jesus has promised that a life of following Him, while costly, is also a life of abundance, “life . . . to the full” (John 10:10). Experiencing life in His kingdom is worth “one hundred times” the cost—now and eternally (Mark 10:29–30). We can rejoice in the fact that we serve a generous God, One who does not reward and punish as we deserve. He generously accepts our weakest efforts—even welcoming and rewarding latecomers to His kingdom as generously as old-timers (see Matt. 20:1–16). In light of this reality, let us joyfully serve Him today. —Monica Brands Lord, help us to remember there is great meaning in following You and that it is all so worth it. Following Jesus is the way to a rich and satisfying life. INSIGHT: The young man in Mark 10 believed he had earned a place in heaven by trusting in his good works and wealth (Mark 10:17-20). Jesus corrected him and told him to give up his material wealth and to follow Him in order to have “treasure in heaven” (v. 21), but this young man was not willing to do this. When Peter bellowed, “We have left everything to follow you!” (v. 28), he was considering what it had cost him and his brother Andrew to follow Jesus. Peter and Andrew were at work when Jesus called them and “at once they left their nets and followed him” (1:17-18). Likewise brothers James and John left their father and their fishing trade (vv. 19-20). Jesus said, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39). This life, abundant and eternal, is to know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” (John 17:3). How has making the choice to follow Jesus changed your life? Sim Kay Tee

Friday, August 4, 2017

Training for Life

Here we are in the 8th month of the New Year at the end of the week it's FRIDAY! I hope these words of wisdom help you reflect on how truly God has been good in your life Read: Psalm 66:8–12 Bible in a Year: Psalms 66–67; Romans 7 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.—Psalm 66:10 My training for the long-distance race was going badly, and the latest run was particularly disappointing. I walked half the time and even had to sit down at one point. It felt like I had failed a mini-test. Then I remembered that this was the whole point of training. It was not a test to pass, nor was there a grade I had to achieve. Rather, it was something I simply had to go through, again and again, to improve my endurance. Perhaps you feel bad about a trial you are facing. God allows us to undergo these times of testing to toughen our spiritual muscles and endurance. He teaches us to rely on Him, and purifies us to be holy, so that we become more like Christ. No wonder the psalmist could praise God for refining the Israelites through fire and water (Ps. 66:10–12) as they suffered in slavery and exile. God not only preserved them and brought them to a place of great abundance, but also purified them in the process. As we go through testing, we can rely on God for strength and perseverance. He is refining us through our toughest moments. —Leslie Koh Lord, I know that You allow me to go through trials so that I will be strengthened and purified. Teach me to keep relying on You for Your strength to endure. Faith-testing times can be faith-strengthening times. INSIGHT: Echoing the confident sentiment of Psalm 66:10, an Old Testament man named Job said, “When [God] has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Job was in financial ruin, his ten children had died, and he was afflicted with a painful disease (1:13-19; 2:7). In the midst of these trials, he sought to understand why he had to suffer so much. His three friends believed his suffering was God’s punishment for his sins (4:7-9; 8:4-7). But Job rejected their accusations and sought an answer from God (23:1-5). God seemed absent (vv. 8-9), yet in a moment of raw faith, Job expressed his intuitive conviction that God was testing him to prove the purity of his character. Job entrusted himself to God’s ways and drew strength from His Word (vv. 10-12). In a similar way, God tests us to show the quality of our faith (Prov. 17:3; Isa. 48:10; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 4:1-13). How has testing helped to refine your faith? What encouragement from Psalm 66 helps you remain faithful in the midst of testing? Sim Kay Tee