Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Choose Jesus

John the Baptist had become a celebrity. He had a remarkable ministry. People ‘were constantly coming [to him] to be baptised’ (v.23). John’s followers were very competitive. They became envious of Jesus’ success. They came to John and said about Jesus, ‘He’s now competing with us... everyone’s going to him instead of us’ (v.26, MSG).

John had to choose how he responded. He began by pointing out to his disciples that ‘it’s not possible for a person to succeed – I’m talking about eternal success – without heaven’s help’ (v.27, MSG). He chose to point people to Jesus rather than to himself: ‘You yourselves can testify that I said, “I am not the Christ but am sent ahead of him.”’ (v.28).

John likens his own position to ‘the friend who attends the bridegroom’ (whom we might call the ‘best man’). Far from being threatened by the arrival of the groom, it is the very thing he has been waiting for, and he is delighted by it. Likewise, John explains that he has been waiting for Jesus, and is ‘full of joy’ at Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was John the Baptist’s successor. John says of Jesus: ‘He must become greater; I must become less’ (v.30).

At times, all of us may be driven to become greater, more important, more highly promoted or better qualified. These are not all bad aims in themselves, but our daily choices will be swayed by these ambitions. You have to choose how you live your life. Are you focused on your promotion or on exalting Jesus? Is your ambition more for yourself, or for Jesus?

Sometimes, we even see different Christian ministries competing with each other. This should never happen.

Echo these words in your heart: ‘He must become greater; I must become less’ (v.30). Ultimately, the focus is not on yourself – it is always on Jesus. Our ambition must always be to point people to Jesus.

John highlights the real issue: ‘Whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that’ (v.36, MSG).

That is the most vital choice of all – do I choose Jesus or reject him?
Lord, I choose to say in my heart, ‘He must become greater; I must become less’ (v.30). Fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I may speak the words of God, enabling others to believe in the Son.

Choose Trust Over Worry

‘Worry,’ as Corrie ten Boom wrote, ‘does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.’ No one goes through life without facing problems, battles and causes for worry.

David faced many difficulties in his life. Here David speaks of one of the most painful battles of his life (v.18b). His ‘best friend’ (v.13b, MSG) has turned against him and joined the many who oppose him (v.18c). David, of course, found this more difficult than if ‘an enemy were insulting [him]’ (v.12a), as we all would.
As in any battle, we have a ‘choice’ about how we respond. David chose to turn to the Lord and cry out to him ‘evening, morning and noon’ (vv.16–17). If you are involved in a confrontation with a close friend or family member, turn to God for comfort and strength. David did so and as a result he experienced God’s peace. He wrote, ‘he has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me’ (v.18, AMP).

From David’s own experience he is able to give this advice: ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you’ (v.22a). Each year, I have written in the margins of my Bible the ‘cares’ that I have ‘cast upon the Lord’ in response to this verse. Most of them (though not quite all) have been more than resolved.

As you face the worries, battles and disappointments of life, don’t allow them to overwhelm you. Like David, turn to the Lord, cast your burdens on him and then say, ‘as for me, I trust in you (v.23b).

Lord, today I want to bring to you my cares... I cast all these things on you and trust in you.

A Smile A Day - May 3rd

Canada Needs More Brad Walls



We cannot confirm who wants the christian prayer removed, but it has something to do with religion and culture as a petition was held last week, but Wall has other plans.
The Muslim community have a history discriminating against Canadian religion and gays in Canada. 36% of Canadian Muslims don’t think gays should be a part of society.
Brad Wall said it’s staying and will not budge and move the prayer from the legislature and his annual Christmas message.
Today, Wall answered to questions about a petition about  the legislature last week calling to stop the prayer read daily in the legislation.
“There are a few people that would like to remove the prayer from the start of the legislative proceedings or my Christmas message, but I don’t think they’re reflective of the majority of the province,” Wall said.
I don’t want to see the prayer changed. And I would work against seeing the prayer removed from the legislature. I think it is important and it should continue.”
Wall also said his yearly Christmas message will remain as long as he’s premier.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

Achieving Remission with Crohn's: Q&A with a GI

Dr. Arun Swaminath is the director of the inflammatory bowel disease program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Healthline asked Dr. Swaminath to discuss how to achieve and maintain remission from Crohn’s disease so that you can live symptom-free.

What is remission?

The definition of remission is changing. Doctors used to think of remission simply in terms of controlling symptoms. Achieving remission now means stopping symptoms as well as harmful inflammation.
Another way to think of remission is as a span of time when your disease becomes inactive or quiet. During remission, Crohn’s symptoms, such as diarrhea or weight loss, may go away completely.

How long does remission last?

Each person is different. Remission can last anywhere from days or weeks to years. If the disease is mild, or if treatments seem to be working really well, prolonged periods of remission (a year or longer) are quite possible.

Is there a certain diet I should follow?

There’s no single Crohn’s disease diet that works for everyone or is guaranteed to help you achieve remission.
Some people with Crohn’s disease have dietary triggers for their symptoms, while others don’t.
Talk to your doctor if you think certain foods may be causing you to feel sick. You may need to try a few different things before finding the diet that helps you feel your best.

Do I still need medicine when I’m in remission?

The short answer is yes. There are two phases of treatment. There’s induction, or getting symptoms under control and into remission. There’s also maintenance, or keeping someone in remission for as long as possible.
Some medications, including corticosteroids, are used primarily for induction. Other medications are for maintenance. Some medicines, such as biologics, may be used for both.
It’s important to continue on whatever therapy your doctor has prescribed, even if you’re feeling good and have no symptoms. Missing medications can cause symptoms to flare.
When your doctor has determined that there is no gastrointestinal inflammation and the digestive tract has healed, you may be able to de-escalate therapy, or stop taking some drugs. This should be done only under medical supervision.

What can cause my Crohn’s to flare?

It’s hard to know why disease symptoms flare up. Sometimes there isn’t an obvious reason.
Some factors that can increase the risk of a Crohn’s flare include:
  • smoking
  • missing or skipping medications
  • psychological stress
  • taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
NSAIDs are medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve).

What if my Crohn’s won’t go into remission?

Medicines can help the majority of people with Crohn’s achieve remission, but they don’t help everybody. Some people can have very severe symptoms and inflammation that doesn’t go away with medication.
Surgery might be an option for some people with hard-to-treat disease. Surgery can be used to unblock an area of the intestine that has become obstructed or blocked. Also, damaged pieces of the digestive tract can be surgically removed to help keep the inflammation from spreading to surrounding tissue.
It’s important to remember that surgery doesn’t cure Crohn’s disease. Most patients are able to achieve remission for a period of time after surgery.

My Crohn’s is in remission. What questions should I ask my doctor at my next check-up?

If you’ve achieved remission, it may be time to ask your doctor to re-evaluate your therapy.
You may be able to de-escalate your current medications, or try an alternative medication. New drugs are constantly being introduced for Crohn’s disease. Ask your doctor if you could benefit from a new therapy. However, never stop taking a medication without first consulting your doctor.

A Smile A Day - May 2nd

A Smile A Day - May 1st