Friday, October 11, 2013

Fri Oct 11th Todays News

Abbott is showing many signs of early success. He is stopping the boats. The ALP are begging him to break his promise on Industrial Relations and break Fair Work. Clearly industry failed when ALP butchered Work Choices. Another failed group are the ABC Fact Checkers. A buffoon in Palmer is threatening effective government .. if he carried out his threats he will not be thanked, or be able to buy, the electorate again. Speaking of buffoons, Obama is President of the US in name, but he is not competent. Debt figure shared with Clinton and Bush, compared with Obama, include for Bush a stimulus payment at the end of his Presidency .. so Bush certainly spent it, but not as part of his administration (only at the end) but as a gift to Obama, approved by Pelosi Democrats. 
I'm against censorship. If you want a video made for a wedding or a function, there is an article I have posted about a very rude bigot who ruined one for a couple. Don't ever do business with them. If they come begging, don't feed them. You know who they are. 

Happy birthday and many happy returns Hanh LeQuoc Ta and Kylie Phillips. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
1335 – Taejo of Joseon (d. 1408)
1738 – Arthur Phillip, English admiral and politician, 1st Governor of New South Wales (d. 1814)
1739 – Grigory Potemkin, Russian military leader and politician (d. 1791)
1809 – Orson Squire Fowler, American phrenologist (d. 1887)
1821 – George Williams, English founder of the YMCA (d. 1905)
1844 – Henry J. Heinz, American businessman, founded the H. J. Heinz Company (d. 1916)
1919 – Art Blakey, American drummer and bandleader (d. 1990)
1937 – Bobby Charlton, English footballer
1947 – Thomas Boswell, American columnist
1957 – Dawn French, Welsh actress and screenwriter
1965 – Luke Perry, American actor
1976 – Emily Deschanel, American actress
1993 – Josip Čalušić, Croatian footballer
1138 – A massive earthquake strikes AleppoSyria.
1142 – A peace treaty between the Jin Dynasty and Southern Song Dynasty is formally ratified when a Jin envoy visits the Song court.
1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day does not exist in this year in Italy,PolandPortugal and Spain.
1649 – Sack of Wexford: After a ten-day siege, English New Model Army troops (under Oliver Cromwell) stormed the town of Wexford, killing over 2,000 Irish Confederate troops and 1,500 civilians.
1767 – Surveying for the Mason–Dixon Line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania is completed.
1809 – Along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee, explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at an inn called Grinder's Stand.
1811 – Inventor John Stevens' boat, the Juliana, begins operation as the first steam-powered ferry (service between New York CityNew York, and Hoboken, New Jersey).
1852 – The University of SydneyAustralia's oldest university, is inaugurated in Sydney.
1890 – In Washington, DC, the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.
1910 – Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright Brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert-St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Missouri.
1929 – JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.
1942 – World War IIBattle of Cape Esperance – On the northwest coast of GuadalcanalUnited States Navy ships intercept and defeat aJapanese fleet on their way to reinforce troops on the island.
1950 – Television: CBS's mechanical color system is the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
1954 – First Indochina War: The Viet Minh take control of North Vietnam.
1957 – Space RaceM.I.T. scientists calculate Sputnik I's booster rocket's orbit.
1968 – Apollo programNASA launches Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally SchirraDonn F. Eiseleand Walter Cunningham aboard.
1972 – A race riot occurs on the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Linebacker.
1975 – The NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuts with George Carlin as the host and Andy KaufmanJanis Ian andBilly Preston as guests.
1188 – Robert I, Count of Dreux (b. 1123)
1531 – Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss pastor and theologian (b. 1484)
1852 – Gotthold Eisenstein, German mathematician (b. 1823)
1963 – Édith Piaf, French singer-songwriter and actress (b. 1915)
2004 – Keith Miller, Australian cricketer and pilot (b. 1919)
2005 – Edward Szczepanik, Polish economist and politician, Prime Minister of Poland (b. 1915)
2013 – María de Villota, Spanish racing driver (b. 1980)

Left attack on Abbott will run out of puff

Piers Akerman – Friday, October 11, 2013 (1:20am)

AFTER noisily hyperventilating about Coalition MPs alleged abuse of Parliamentary entitlements, “our” ABC and the Fairfax press appear to have run out of puff.


Operation Sovereign Borders showing success already

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (1:08pm)

Air Marshal Mark Binskin, at the weekly media conference on Operation Sovereign Borders, says just 215 boat people have arrived in the first three weeks. That’s about 70 a week, compared to the 500 a week that turned up under Labor earlier this year.
True, Kevin Rudd managed to slow arrivals in Labor’s last weeks in office, but the Abbott Government has done even better.
AFP Commissioner Tony Negus put the lie to media claims that the government was dropping its policy to pay Indonesians for information on people smugglers.
There seems to be a high tempo of operations by Indonesian officials to stop people smugglers, with 515 boat people said to have been stopped from leaving in the past week.
No boats arrived in the past week, other than one this morning. One boat arrived last week.
Something is working, even if more yet needs to be done.
Not much sign at all of the “confrontation” with Indonesia that Kevin Rudd said Tony Abbott would create:
MORE than 550 would-be asylum-seekers have been stopped from getting on boats in Indonesia since the federal election as a result of cooperation with Jakarta.
Australian Federal Police chief commissioner Tony Negus said ... “During the last few weeks, since the 8th of September specifically, there have been 17 disruptions in Indonesia, where over 550 passengers have been stopped getting onto boats. That’s a result of the cooperative relationship between the AFP, other agencies here in Australia, and the Indonesian National Police..”


Immigration - or colonisation?

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (9:54am)

Immigration, Islamism
Immigration update #1:
AN Australian-born man known to intelligence authorities for his extreme religious views has been charged over an alleged near-fatal shooting outside a sex club in Sydney’s northwest earlier this year.
Milad Bin Ahmad Shah al-Ahmadzai, 23, will appear before Goulburn Local Court today over the May 1 shooting and ambush of a 52-year-old man outside the Aarows nightclub on Bridge St, Rydalmere. The establishment is a 24-hour gay, bisexual and swingers club.
Immigration update #2:
A former Sudanese child soldier whose memories of a traumatic childhood triggered a vicious bashing of a Canberra man has been sentenced to three months’ weekend detention.
Luay Shaor, 30, ... eventually fled Sudan, saying he escaped the army and ran for four days barefoot through the desert to the Egyptian border to escape a death sentence hanging over his head.
That particular part of his story was rejected by the court, after prosecutor Anthony Williamson produced immigration records showing he had left from the airport in Sudan’s capital Khartoum…
But the court accepted that Shaor had suffered childhood trauma, including serving as a soldier and having rocks thrown at him during beatings at the hands of his family…
That illness surfaced in Canberra late last year, when a man aged in his 60s was throwing rocks at Shaor in an attempt to provoke him.
That triggered what Magistrate Bernadette Boss described as a ‘‘vicious and intense attack’’, partly caused by the PTSD he developed when he was young. Shaor took a metal bar and repeatedly hit the man in the head. The man lost consciousness, but Shaor continued the attack.
Immigration update #3:
Then there is this curious Federal Court case in which the judge deleted any reference to the religion, language and birthplace of the two parties before him, and even gave them Anglo-Saxon pseudonyms although every detail suggests Islam is the issue:
This is a wholly extraordinary case. I hope I never have another like it. For reasons which I hope will become apparent, it has been a proceeding almost impossible properly to control, essentially because of the position adopted by the respondent husband, a position unique in my experience on the Court…
On 27 February 2013 the wife filed an Application for Divorce… The application asserted that the applicant wife was born on (omitted) 1967 in (country omitted) and had lived in Australia since (omitted) 1970. It affirmed that the husband was born on (omitted) 1964 also in (country omitted) and had started living in Australia on (omitted) 1989…
The application further revealed that the husband did not regard Australia as his home, was an Australian citizen by grant of citizenship but had not lived in Australia for the previous twelve months…
On 22 March 2013, the wife filed a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence, or Risk of Family Violence form. This asserted an assault by the husband on the wife in January 2010. It also asserted that in January 2012, a further daughter, U, had been threatened by the father in (country omitted) by pointing a knife to her neck and had had her Australian passport destroyed…
She alleged that the husband verbally, psychologically and financially abused her and used all his earnings for himself and bought properties in (country omitted) and in (country omitted)…
On 11 April 2013, a Divorce Order was made in standard terms by a Registrar of the Court… I note that at paragraph 27, the wife deposed:

“I believe that the Respondent Husband may be avoiding service because he does not believe that under (religion omitted) I have grounds to seek a divorce."…
The respondent husband was served with the Initiating Application and supporting documents ... by the applicant’s solicitor. On 22 May 2013 the matter returned before the Court…
First of all, Mr Irvine stated in the clearest of terms that the Court did not have jurisdiction to entertain the applications before it. This was because, as he put it, his marriage was governed by a contract entered into pursuant to (religion omitted), and it was not open to this Court to interfere with it… It will be noted that the husband repeatedly refused to answer very straightforward direct questions put to him, such as whether he was an Australian citizen or not…
The affidavit filed by Mr Irvine asserts at paragraph 7 that:

“he holds firmly to the fact that his religious beliefs, customs and practices are absolute perfect, sacred and honoured”. He also asserted at paragraph 8: “no other belief, laws or way of life and practices may be regarded as applicable, nor equal or superior and may not be allowed to go or act contrary to, violate or contravene the Commandments and Orders of (omitted)”.
The affidavit went on to say at paragraph 11:
“(religion omitted) must be governed at all times and in all circumstances & conditions, only in accordance with (religion omitted) as a mandatory basis of our religious faith and belief”.
At paragraph 14, the affidavit states:

“(religion omitted) is the only form of law that may be applicable for the conduct, governing and jurisdiction of a (omitted), what is generally termed as a “(omitted)” (marital) relationship between (religion omitted). The official power to make lawful and legal decisions, judgments and the extent of this power, is explicitly limited to the parties who are contractually bound to its terms and conditions in (religion omitted)”.
Paragraph 19 of the affidavit relevantly says:

“… The sole “Parties” to a contract in (omitted) are the (religion omitted) man and (religion omitted) woman only and no third party or entity of any type is a party to any (omitted) contract. Any party wishing to interfere outside is deemed as absent jurisdiction, a third party interloper and any court magistrate or parties acting in such regard commits a tort. ...”

The husband purported to say that he did not understand the proceedings. Nonetheless, it should be noted that his command of English is excellent and he is an educated man… The husband purported to express a lack of understanding as to what was happening both on the day and previously. I should record that while such matters must be approached with caution, everything Mr Irvine did and the way that he did it suggests to me that he is a highly intelligent man who is engaged in an extensive filibuster with a view to enforcing his basic position that the Court does not have jurisdiction…
The wife went on to say that she was being terrorised by the two elder children, V and X…
It is quite apparent from the materials that the husband has filed that it is his view that the wife, under (religion omitted), has no capacity or entitlement to make any decisions, although she is required to be consulted. I indicated on 22 May 2013 that it would be appropriate to give (religion omitted) such consideration as is appropriate in considering the children’s best interests in the final trial. As things have turned out the only emphasis given by the husband to (religion omitted) has been his essential proposition that this Court should not inter-meddle in the matter at all.
It is quite impossible to evaluate the force and effect that should be given to the (religion omitted) background of the parties given the paucity of evidence in this case.
(Thanks to readers ExLabor Man, Village Idiot (Reformed) and Owen.) 


ABC fact checkers defend verballing Abbott

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (9:41am)

Reader Mick is right to wonder at the effrontery of the ABC’s “fact checking” unit which claims Tony Abbott is just ”splitting hairs” when he points out that the Coalition policy is not to “tow back” boats but “turn back”:

On what planet are the phrases “turn back” and “tow back” interchangeable? So a policeman redirecting traffic is the same as him/her having a tow truck tow your car away. And notice that, according to the AlpBC, it is Tony Abbott “splitting hairs”, not the ALP fabricating the false statement in the first place.
To explain the difference to the ABC. I have a policy of turning away door-to-door salesman. That could, but does not, include putting them a headlock. Don’t defend sloppy and provocative reporting. 


Why I think Palmer is a buffoon. Chapter one

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (9:16am)

On 2GB last night I tried to find out why some listeners had voted for Clive Palmer, and was told not to call him a buffoon.
Not a buffoon?

Here is some of Palmer’s plan to drive the country broke:

Mr Palmer, for instance, favours substantial tax cuts, higher health spending, a 20 per cent increase in the aged pension and “wiping off deficits”.
One saving - lots more spending:

Palmer oppose Abbott’s ‘’discriminatory’’ paid parental leave scheme, wants to scrap university fees and reduce school class sizes ... and opposes the tobacco tax rises.
More spending and mad schemes, explained by Palmer:

... the adjustment with the provisional tax gives another $70 billion to the economy… (We) can allow [boat] people to come down to Australia, fly down from Indonesia, be met at the airport, have a fair hearing within one day and sent back if they’re not a genuine refugee.
Then there are Palmer’s conspiracy theories:

Well Tony, the Tea Party’s funded by Rupert Murdoch ... You know, Rupert Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy
Of course the polling’s rigged. Rupert Murdoch owns Galaxy poll and Newspoll and the media tries to set the agenda and determines the result of an election before it’s been held. That’s not a democracy, it’s up to the people. We’ll win a lot more seats than 15…
You’ve seen what’s happened in Egypt with a coup over. In a free democracy we don’t want military personnel in control of our election process. We are civilians and it should be a civilian election. And it’s just too much of a coincidence, you’ve got so many ex military people acting as divisional directors for House of Representative seats
The US Congress which sets up the Rockefeller Foundation as a conduit of CIA funding… [Greens campaigner] Drew Hutton is a tool of the US government and Rockefeller, and so are the Greens.
Clive Palmer now restricts his media appearances almost entirely to the ABC. No wonder, says Hedley Thomas:
Clive just fronts up at his favourite friendly soapbox, ABC TV’s Lateline.
Those journalists and media outlets who get under his skin with scrutiny of his antics (such as Marcus Priest in The Australian Financial Review) are smeared by Palmer who wrote to him: “Are you a murder(er) or just mentally deranged? ...”
Or they are sued by him - as we are at The Australian - in expensive and time-consuming proceedings for alleged defamation ...
But Lateline, the ABC and its host Tony Jones, a highly trained cross-examiner who has deftly nailed many political blowhards over the years, are in no such danger. On Wednesday night, the mutual admiration was again flowing warmly across the studio.
Examples are then given.
That said, 7.30’s report last night showed how farcical Palmer’s press conference yesterday was and how his Senators are mere minions. Watch the clown show here.


Tendulkar to retire next month

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (8:27am)

The great man declares:
INDIAN cricket great Sachin Tendulkar announced Thursday that he would retire after playing his 200th Test match next month, calling time on a career stretching nearly a quarter of a century.
Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer in Test cricket history and the only player to make 100 centuries in international cricket, said he had been “living a dream’’ since making his debut in 1989 but recognised it was now time to call it quits.

Tendulkar’s five greatest innings.


Drowning in debt

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (7:59am)

Exactly when does Barack Obama intend to cut debt, not increase it?
When Mr. Obama became president in January 2009, the total federal debt stood at $10.6 trillion. This week, it hit $16.7 trillion — an increase of 57 percent. In the same time frame under President George W. Bush, total federal debt rose 38 percent. Under President Clinton, it rose 32 percent.
But the debt is still sure to go up, not down, for now as the Republicans offer an olive branch:

House Republican leaders said Thursday they will offer a temporary increase in the federal debt ceiling in exchange for negotiations with President Obama on longer-term “pressing problems,” but they stopped short of agreeing to end a government shutdown now in its 10th day.
In a news briefing following a closed-door meeting of House Republicans to present a plan to raise the debt limit for six weeks, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said, “What we want to do is offer the president today the ability to move a temporary increase in the debt ceiling.” He described the offer, to be presented to Obama in a White House meeting with House Republicans on Thursday afternoon, as a “good-faith effort on our part to move halfway to what he’s demanded in order to have these conversations begin.”
Obama is “happy” that House Republicans agree a federal debt default is not an option, but he would prefer a longer extension of the debt limit, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

President Obama has rejected a proposal from politically besieged House Republican leaders to extend the nation’s borrowing authority for six weeks because it would not also reopen the government. Yet both parties saw it as the first break in Republicans’ brinkmanship and a step toward a fiscal truce.


New paper: warming pause could last another 20 years

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (7:51am)

A new paper does not dispute man’s gases are heating the world, but predicts no more warming for perhaps another 20 years thanks to natural climate variability:

A new paper published in a recent online edition of the journal Climate Dynamics suggests that this ‘unpredictable climate variability’ behaves in a more predictable way than previously assumed. The paper’s authors, Marcia Wyatt and Judith Curry, point to the so-called ‘stadium-wave’ signal that propagates like the cheer at sporting events whereby sections of sports fans seated in a stadium stand and sit as a ‘wave’ propagates through the audience.  In like manner, the ‘stadium wave’ climate signal propagates across the Northern Hemisphere through a network of ocean, ice, and atmospheric circulation regimes that self-organize into a collective tempo.
The stadium wave hypothesis provides a plausible explanation for the [past 15-year] hiatus in warming and helps explain why climate models did not predict this hiatus…
Building upon Wyatt’s Ph.D. thesis at the University of Colorado, Wyatt and Curry identified two key ingredients to the propagation and maintenance of this stadium wave signal: the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and sea ice extent in the Eurasian Arctic shelf seas. The AMO sets the signal’s tempo, while the sea ice bridges communication between ocean and atmosphere. The oscillatory nature of the signal can be thought of in terms of ‘braking,’ in which positive and negative feedbacks interact to support reversals of the circulation regimes…
The stadium wave periodically enhances or dampens the trend of long-term rising temperatures, which may explain the recent hiatus in rising global surface temperatures.
The stadium wave signal predicts that the current pause in global warming could extend into the 2030s,” said Wyatt, an independent scientist after having earned her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 2012.
Curry added, “This prediction is in contrast to the recently released IPCC AR5 Report that projects an imminent resumption of the warming, likely to be in the range of a 0.3 to 0.7 degree Celsius rise in global mean surface temperature from 2016 to 2035.” Curry is the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
(Thanks to reader Steve.) 


Business should have fought Labor’s changes from the start

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (7:25am)

I agree that we need profound workplace reform much sooner than Tony Abbott dared to promise, but I have little sympathy for business representatives who are lions now but were lambs when the Rudd Government imposed its restrictive Fair Work Act:

Speaking at a lunch in Melbourne, Lend Lease chairman David Crawford and Asciano chairman Malcolm Broomhead seized on Mr Abbott’s inaction on workplace issues.
Mr Broomhead said it was ‘’absolute madness’’ to defer reforms until 2016 at the earliest. The 2016 date was nominated by Mr Abbott in August, when he launched a set of pre-election workplace policies that left the Labor Party’s Fair Work Act largely unchanged.
Abbott did not dare promise more for fear of Labor and the unions whipping up a fear campaign that could have cost him the election. Business, meanwhile, had largely left the fight on workplace reforms to the Liberals until Labor started to look safely terminal. True, Broomhead has raised objections to the Fair Work Act for some time now, but business as a whole has failed to fight as it should:

In 2004, [Heather Ridout] was appointed ... CEO [of the Australian Industry Group].
As the Howard era drew to a close, she faced one the biggest decisions of her career: whether or not to join a business funded pro-Work Choices advertising campaign. She chose not to – a call that worked wonders for her reputation with the ALP.
When the chains were being put on by the first Rudd Government, then rampant, large parts of business almost welcomed them:
On the day of releasing the Fair Work Bill, Anderson’s ACCI and Heather Ridout’s Australian Industry Group (the nation’s two largest employer groups) even praised the changes as a workable compromise

Anderson initially listed some concerns and stressed Labor would “put more power in the hands of union officials”.

But he was a convert to the process and said he recognised the reality that Labor had received endorsement at the election for most of its changes.
Ridout, meanwhile, congratulated Gillard “on a very good process” and said the Fair Work Bill was “by and large” workable.
It’s a bit rich for business now to insist Abbott break the election promises he made. 


Palmer demands we pay for what he hasn’t earned or he’ll wreck the joint

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (7:08am)

Self-serving, greedy and a wrecker:
Mining magnate Clive Palmer is threatening to block all the Abbott government’s legislation – even measures he supports such as scrapping the carbon price – unless his party gets more staff and resources.
After striking a deal with Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator-elect Ricky Muir to form a balance-of-power voting bloc of four seats in the Senate from next July, Mr Palmer demanded the same staffing and resources as the Greens, who currently hold the balance
Prime Minister Tony Abbott dismissed the demand, saying there was a standard convention on staffing and resources for minor parties and independents.

When Fairfax Media put Mr Abbott’s remarks to Mr Palmer, he said: “Fine, then he won’t get any legislation through. None at all.”
Palmer wants the rules bent:

A political party needs five members of Parliament to gain official party status and earn the right to the extra funding.
Palmer, if he and his WA Senator survive their recounts, will have just four members. Signing a vote-swapping deal with Ricky Muir does not give him five unless Muir completes his betrayal of the Motoring Enthusiasts and actually joins the Palmer United Party.  But:

At a shambolic, 11-minute press conference in Sydney yesterday, Mr Palmer announced that Mr Muir would form a voting bloc with the three senators-elect from PUP, although Mr Palmer refused to publicly discuss the memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties, or answer questions about policy differences between PUP and Mr Muir’s Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party. 
Palmer’s Senators should preserve their self-respect and walk away from a buffoon who treats them as mere ciphers.
Getting too close to Palmer seems to be scorching Ricky Muir’s reputation already:
THE jilted Victorian arm of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has hired a private investigator to dig up senator-elect Ricky Muir’s past.
The Herald Sun understands the father of five has expressed concerns to party executives that his past would haunt him.
“We’ve got an investigator looking into him,” former AMEP Victorian chairman Scott McDonald said. “There’s definitely things in his past that he’s very worried about."…
The Herald Sun understands dozens of the party’s members have demanded their $20 annual membership fee, used to support the club’s activities, be refunded.


The Crown Prince of Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, lunched with the new Master of the Senate, Clive Palmer at Rockpool Bar & Grill on Thursday. Svelte Malcolm ordered a salad. Big Clive had the onion rings.  


Shorten ahead

Andrew Bolt October 11 2013 (6:55am)

Not looking good for Anthony Albanese’s leadership hopes if rumors of yesterdays ballot of MPs are about right:

A caucus ballot of 48-38 in Shorten’s favour looks like a lead of 16,800 to 13,300 when translated into membership votes. In other words, Albanese ... would need to win about 17,000 of the 30,000 rank-and-file votes to take the leadership. 
Albanese would therefore need to rally 57 per cent of the members to his side just to post a narrow victory over Shorten.
The dream scenario for the Shorten camp is a caucus ballot of 53-33 in his favour.
If that came to pass, Albanese would need about 63 per cent of rank-and-file votes to win.
The way Albanese campaigned suggested to me his heart wasn’t really in it:
With resources made available by right-wing unions, Mr Shorten is believed to have spent more during the month-long campaign. He sent out a 16-page glossy brochure to rank-and-file members whereas Mr Albanese’s camp produced a single A4 leaflet for his final pitch.


Let’s see if the “carbon editor” reports this failure

Andrew Bolt October 10 2013 (7:31pm)

The Sydney Morning Herald had its “carbon editor” hype up Sydney’s “record” heat today to insinuate man is heating the world to “catastrophic” heights:
Oh, dear. What a shame:

The temperature in Sydney reached 37.3C just after 3pm (AEDT) on Thursday for the city’s third hottest October day since records began 154 years ago.
Did the Boston Globe’s “carbon editor” report this last month?

Many of you slept through it but earlier this morning the temperature bottomed out at 44 degrees in Boston establishing a new record low…the old one was 45 degrees set back in 1986.
Did the Bulgarian Sofia News Agency’s “carbon editor” report this last week?

Five stations of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology with the Bulgarian Academy of Science reported record-breaking negative temperatures in Bulgaria overnight…
In the town of Vidin temperatures dropped to -0.6°C, breaking the previous record of -0.5°C on this day of the year. The capital city Sofia reported 0.9°C, against 1°C registered as lowest temperature on this date in the past. 
Memo to the Sydney Morning Herald. It’s called global warming:

The average global temperature hasn’t risen in 15 years, a deviation from climatologists’ computer-simulated predictions.
Which makes this scaremongering - again in today’s Sydney Morning Herald - irresponsible:

But when do we stop talking about breaking records and admit we’ve got a radically different climate? In Melbourne, a new study suggests, it will be 2045. In Sydney that time will come in 2038.

Baby Hope, left, a police sketch of her mother and the esky. Picture: Supplied

NO ONE knew the name of the dead toddler whose body was found stuffed in an esky on the side of a New York City Highway. Until today.
Investigators first began hunting for answers 22 years ago in what became known as the mystery of Baby Hope. Now they know her real name was Angelica Ramirez.
The trail of Angelica’s killer was cold by the time road workers opened up the foul-smelling blue picnic esky in July 1991 to discover the child’s dead body.
She was naked, tied up and had been sexually abused.
The identity of the child, aged between three and five, was unknown and no relatives came forward to claim her. Police had no suspects.
Detectives, haunted by her death, claimed her as family and buried her in a moving public memorial service in 1993.
But now the mystery that has plagued detectives for close to two decades is close to being solved.

He was her dad .. but not her father .. Grieve for her - ed
Stan Gocman and Claudia Resssler on their wedding day. Picture: Cascade News Ltd / Splash News

WHEN newlyweds Stan and Claudia Gocman settled down to watch a video of their big day they hoped to relive precious memories.
Instead they were greeted with a vile anti-Semitic rant about the bride and their guests after the cameraman accidentally recorded his racist commentary and then forgot to edit it from the tape.
As he filmed the happy couple dancing at the reception, Anthony Aurelius could be heard saying: “I don’t think I blame Hitler.”
He also told his unnamed assistant: “Some of the Jewish women are very beautiful to look at. But I can tell you, they’d be right f****** cows. Very f****** snooty, they’d be a pain in the a***. Not a very attractive bride at all.”
Mr Gocman, 28, a senior recruiter at accountancy firm KPMG, said the video had ruined their memories of the wedding.
His wife, a 27-year-old fashion buyer for Ralph Lauren, said: “It’s completely anti-Semitic and ignorant. Even the assistant, who is Asian, was racist. I just don’t understand it.
“At first, I was really upset but then I was furious. I think he’s a disgusting little man.
“I can’t even stand to watch the video, it makes me so angry.”

Bigotry is ugly .. don't buy from that video maker .. ed
Breaking news .. Sydney temps down over 13 degrees centigrade from the previous day. AGW scientists cannot explain this global cooling phenomena, but think it is somehow related to plant food. If we send ourselves broke by eliminating plant food, the problem would be solved. - ed

The View. — at South Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ.

Holly Sarah Nguyen

When you believe and are confident that God loves you, no matter what’s going on, you can say, “I'm going to be alright, because God loves me. Because God loves me, I'm healed. I don’t care what the doctor has said. Because God loves me, these bills are going to be paid. God loves me, and He meets all my needs.” The peace that passes all understanding shows up when you know how much God loves you. 

farewell two words I like - ed===

Thanks to the quick response from Fire and Rescue NSW crews no property was damaged when this grass fire broke out in Bonnyrigg Heights around midday yesterday. Approximately 1000m of scrub was alight but was contained and extinguished by 1pm with two fire crews on the scene. Thank you to local Gary Dring for the picture.
Barry O'Farrell
PROJECT UPDATE: The first major tender for Australia’s biggest infrastructure project - Sydney’s WESTCONNEX – has been awarded.

The tender is part of the WestConnex M4 Widening stage of the project, click here for more details



For 12 seasons, Dr. Phil has used his show to tell compelling stories about real people and remove the social stigma of mental illness. Are you suffering? Connect with others and access resources that can help: #WorldMentalHealthDay

"Die gelebte und geförderte Mehrsprachigkeit ist Voraussetzung für interkulturellen Dialog, kulturelle Vielfalt und damit für ein gelungenes Zusammenwachsen Europas." (Goethe-Institut)
"The lived and promoted multilingualism is a prerequisite for intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and hence for the successful integration of Europe." (Goethe-Institut)
Successful integration? ed

Pizza Spaghetti Casserole !!

We've been making this for almost 20 years, and every time it gets better & better 


1 lb. Ground meat (I like turkey)
1 16 oz. box uncooked spaghetti noodles
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ Cup Milk
1 Egg
2 ounces sliced pepperoni (I like Turkey)
1 (26 ounce) jar pasta sauce
1 16 oz. can diced Italian style tomatoes
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Italian cheese blend
Any other pizza toppings, you can add like Black olives, sausage, onions, green peppers, etc...


Boil water & salt for Spaghetti noodles, once it starts boiling, add noodles. Brown meat in a separate frying pan. Once noodles are cooked, drain and put in a casserole dish. In a separate bowl, combine milk & egg & whisk. Poor over pasta & add jar of sauce, can of tomatoes, garlic powder, & oregano. Mix all together well. On top of pasta mixture, layer the ground meat, then add a layer of pepperoni's. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, & Italian cheese. And layer more pepperoni. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes.

Feel free to LIKE AND SHARE !!




Mandy Mclean
What a fabulous group of people you are ~ selfless people in a self centred world. I'm proud to call you all my friend. 

Aprille Love
#bts with @flightfac giving hugo a jacket after a freezing cold day #flightfacilities #interview#behindthescenes #music


Israel’s violation of basic civil rights stems from “emergency laws” enacted during the British Mandate.
    “No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”
Written 800 years ago in the Magna Carta, this is one of foundations of English common law and the US Bill of Rights. Prohibiting arbitrary arrest and punishment is a fundamental aspect of every democracy.
Israel, however, seems to be an exception. The expulsion of Boaz Albert and his family from Yitzhar is a good example.

He was never told of what crime he was accused, or why he was being expelled; there was no trial.
Since the expulsion was ordered by the military administration, an appeal to those who gave and approved the order is an exercise in futility. Although the High Court has ruled that the Basic Law applies to every citizen, regardless of where he lives, it offers no remedy, since the order is legal according to Israeli law.
A legal absurdity, it recalls Franz Kafka’s novel, The Trial, about a man who is arrested and imprisoned, with the nature of his crime never being revealed to him, or to the reader.
Albert’s case seems to be punishment without a crime.
(Albert wrote “Why I decided to violate the administrative expulsion order,” Jerusalem Post Magazine, September 13, 2013.) Expelling Jewish citizens and heads of families from their homes and prohibiting them from living in Judea and Samaria for up to a year, or be imprisoned – without just cause or due process – violates civil and humanitarian law. Such politically motivated actions defy all democratic and judicial norms.
Since the reason for Albert’s expulsion is “confidential,” there is no way he can refute it, or defend himself in court.
This seems to violate Israel’s Basic Law, especially section 5: “There shall be no deprivation or restriction of the liberty of a person by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or otherwise.”
If there is evidence of criminal activity, the accused should be arrested and tried.
Expelling people from their homes and avoiding normal legal procedures either because evidence is weak, or non-existent challenges the entire legal system.
Israel’s violation of basic civil rights stems from “emergency laws” enacted during the British Mandate.
But “emergency laws” are unnecessary when proper civil laws are available.
Although the Edmund Levy commission proposed a remedy, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein refuses to pass it on to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – who hasn’t objected.
Depriving citizens of their rights and punishing them without charging them in court, without the ability to confront the accusations against them, without a fair and impartial trial, and without a chance to defend themselves, is undemocratic and unjust.
That is why Albert refuses to accept the expulsion order. His courageous act of civil disobedience seeks to expose a legal injustice.
The jurisdictional problem is complicated because “Area C” of Judea and Samaria is under Israeli military administration and Israel has not extended civilian law over this area. Yet, all other Israeli laws are enforced there, such as taxes, traffic violations, national service, etc. Why are expulsions an exception? That some Basic Laws don’t apply to Israelis who are accused of being a “danger to public safety” – without demonstrative proof – because they live in Judea and Samaria undermines the very idea of fair and impartial rule of law.
Carrying out punishments which are questionable and certainly legally compromising puts the credibility of the state itself at risk. When the state abuses its power, it becomes a weapon against its own legitimacy.
In 1948 we overcame British occupation; in 1967 we liberated Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation and Golan from Syria. But we are still chained to their anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist laws. Does that make sense?
The author is a PhD historian, writer and journalist living in Jerusalem.

The problem being that the UN endorses apartheid. UN endorses corruption. It would be better for Israeli law to apply equally throughout that land. - ed

What has been happening in Fatah lately is more than differences of opinion among the faction's top brass.
A series of incidents over the past few weeks indicate that the Palestinian Fatah faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, is witnessing a sharp power struggle between some of its top leaders.
The infighting in Fatah is a sign of the growing challenges facing Abbas as he continues to conduct peace talks with Israel.
Moreover, the internal squabbling raises questions about Abbas's ability to reach any agreement with Israel that would be acceptable to most Palestinians.
What has been happening in Fatah lately is more than differences of opinion among the faction's top brass.
Some Palestinians have gone as far as saying that the infighting marks the beginning of a revolt against Abbas's leadership.
Fatah gunmen have returned to the streets of some West Bank cities and refugee camps are openly challenging Abbas's leadership.
The tensions inside Fatah reached their peak this week with the faction's decision to dismiss Mahmoud Abdel Hamid Issa, a top Palestinian security commander in Lebanon.
The Fatah Central Committee decided to dismiss Issa under the pretext that he had disobeyed orders issued to him by the Fatah leadership in the West Bank.
Issa was also suspected of forging an alliance with Abbas's political foe, Mohammed Dahlan.
Dahlan himself was expelled from Fatah two years after falling out with Abbas.
Abbas and the Fatah leadership suspect that Dahlan, who is based in the United Arab Emirates, is now working to rally Fatah members around him. They are convinced that Dahlan's ultimate goal is to replace Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority.
The decision to expel Issa and strip him of his military rank drew strong condemnations from Fatah leaders and members in Lebanon. Last week, angry Palestinians in a refugee camp in Lebanon removed Abbas's photo from the streets and public squares in protest against the dismissal of Issa.
Since then, Abbas has been working hard to prevent an all-out mutiny against his leadership. In the context of his efforts, Abbas dispatched one of his top aides, Azzam al-Ahmed, to Lebanon for urgent discussions with Issa and other Fatah officials and activists.
Following the visit, al-Ahmed declared that the many crises plaguing Fatah have weakened it significantly.
"Fatah is in need of a cleansing campaign," he said. "We have given those who committed mistakes dozens of chances, but to no avail."
But as Abbas was busy trying to put down the fire inside Fatah in Lebanon, another dispute erupted between two senior Fatah officials in the West Bank.
The latest dispute began when bodyguards escorting Jibril Rajoub, a former security commander, beat Fatah legislator Jamal Abu al-Rub.
The incident took place during a heated debate over the responsibility of Fatah thugs and gunmen for scenes of anarchy and lawlessness in Jenin.
Abu al-Rub, who is a Fatah leader from Jenin, is nicknamed "Hitler" because of his ruthless and violent attacks on Palestinians suspected of "collaboration" with Israel.
After al-Rub was beaten, Fatah gunmen issued a leaflet warning Rajoub against entering Jenin. Now Abbas is busy trying to achieve a sulha [reconciliation] between the two senior Fatah leaders-warlords.
Palestinians familiar with Fatah said that the recent tensions inside the faction were nothing compared to other and more serious rivalries that have not been made public. According to the Palestinians, these tensions may also be linked to a war of succession that has begun inside Fatah.
Several Fatah leaders, including Rajoub and Dahlan, see themselves as potential successors to the 78-year-old Abbas.
The turmoil in Fatah is likely to have a negative impact on the peace talks with Israel, especially as Abbas faces growing criticism over his decision to return to the peace talks by many Palestinians.
Until recently, Abbas's critics used to insist that he does not have a mandate from his people to sign any peace agreement with Israel. The infighting inside Fatah shows that Abbas is also beginning to lose control over his own ruling faction.


Former MK Aryeh Eldad, head of the Professors for a Strong Israel Forum, responded with sarcasm to the EuropeanCouncil’s decision torecommend the banning of circumcision as a violation of human rights.
"The Council of Europe has found at last the greatest threat to kids in the world,” Eldad said declared. “No, it’s not Assad and his chemical weapons. It’s not Khamenei and his nuclear weapons. They are already considered to be ‘the good guys’ and must’ve already been invited for a party at Catherine Ashton’s place.”
“It’s not even settlements this week,” he continued. “Now what is in their sites – unabashedly – are the foreskins of the Jews in Europe, who insist on circumcising their sons.”
Eldad expressed surprise at the Council’s decision, “What happened? Was this week Antiochus’ birthday? Was it Hadrian’s yartzheit [day of death – ed.]?”
Antiochus was the Greek ruler whose oppression of Jews in the land of Israel led to the Maccabean revolt known from the story of Hanukkah; according to the book of Maccabees, one of his decrees was to make circumcision of male infants a death penalty offense. Roman ruler Hadrian outlawed circumcision as well, along with many other Jewish practices; his repression sparked the unsuccessful Bar Kokhba revolt.
Anti-Semitism alone cannot explain the European Council’s decision, Eldad said. “The fact that they are anti-Semitic isn’t a new thing,” he said.
Eldad called on European Jews to avoid the ramifications of the Council’s decision by coming to live in Israel. “Keep in mind that most of the Jews in Israel didn’t come because of Zionism, but because of persecution… As a Zionist I condemn European anti-Semitism, but instead of begging them to cancel the decree, I call on Jews to make aliyah [immigrate],” he urged.
“For us, our word is our word,” said Eldad – a play on words, using the Hebrew word “mila” which can mean both “word” or “circumcision.”
While Eldad attacked the European Council’s decision, MK Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid), one of Israel’s representatives to the council, toldArutz Sheva that he believes that diplomacy and public relations efforts can stem European campaigns against circumcision.
The council’s decision should not be taken as a genuine attempt to protect babies’ rights, Hoffman added. Those who have first-hand experience withEuropean politics and the agendas at play know that human rights are not the issue, he said.


It’s funny how the American Jewish community has a way of getting all breathless and excited when a new study comes out, as is happening right now with the new Pew survey.
As if we needed all this sophisticated evidence to remind us that Judaism in America is in trouble, and that we must find ways to make it more attractive and relevant if we want a healthy, pluralistic Judaism to survive over the next century.
When it comes to the decline of Judaism in America, we have this habit of getting bogged down with research specifics and losing the big picture.
As I see it, here is the big picture: What Judaism needs more than anything is great ideas and leadership, not more research.
We didn’t need research, for example, to tell us that the best way to connect with Israel is to visit Israel, and that young people love things that are free. The Birthright Israel program was a great idea, not a great study.
The most successful Jewish organization in history — Chabad — didn’t need pollsters to tell them that showing unconditional love for their fellow Jews is a really compelling idea.
Imagine if Chabad had done focus groups asking secular Jewish men if they were interested in having black-hatted rabbis with beards accost them on the street and urge them to put on tefillin
As advertising legend Bill Bernbach once put it, “We’re so busy measuring public opinion that we forget we can mold it.”
What will drive the success of future Jewish initiatives is not a sexy finding from a research study, but common sense, creativity and brilliant execution.
We don’t need research to tell us that people generally love to laugh, hate to be bored, want meaning in their lives, want to be successful, have happy relationships, feel a sense of belonging, fall in love, eat good food, listen to good music and so on.
The challenge for the Jewish community is to take these fundamental human truths and creatively and organically marry them to the Jewish tradition so that more people will be interested in Judaism.
Piece of cake.
Let’s take one simple truth: It’s better to have a restaurant with 20 items on the menu than two or three items.
The problem is that most Jewish “restaurants” of today — the synagogues — feature too few menu items, which usually revolve around religion (prayer and Torah) and holiday events.
Religious practice is an essential component of Jewish identity, which I love, but it is not the only one. And let’s face it, not everyone loves “religion.” Thank God, we’re lucky that the Jewish buffet is so rich. If we want to succeed with the new generation, we’ll need to tap into these riches. 
I’d love to see synagogues transform themselves into centers of Jewish celebration that serve up the whole Jewish buffet in all its glory: culture, history, music, philosophy, art, literature, poetry, comedy, Jewish meditation, mysticism, self-improvement, social justice, etc., in addition to prayer, Torah study and everything else they offer now.
If the goal is to build Jewish identity, shouldn’t we put the odds on our side by creating as many connections to Judaism as possible?
Let’s look at just one item on this buffet that consistently gets ignored: telling the stories of our people.
When is the last time any synagogue did an event on the history of the Persian Jews, or the Moroccan Jews, or the Polish Jews, or even the Chinese Jews?


Ready for Compromise Peace But Concluded Correctly It Wasn't Possible (Ovadia Yosef)

 "The evil that men do is remembered after their deaths, but the good is often buried with them." -- William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar"

It is amazing how much Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (ZTL) has been slandered or obviously misrepresented after he died at the age of 93 in Jerusalem a few days ago. It is symbolic of the demeaning and libeling of Judaism —not just Zionism—by others nowadays; it also illustrates the media misrepresentations due either to partisanship or ignorance among many who know they will not be caught or corrected .
But it is also amazing how many Jews, particularly outside Israel, try to use Ovadia Yosef in their suicidal naivete.
Let me briefly explain.
Born in Baghdad in 1920 (how long ago and what a distant world that was!)  Rabbi Yosef was recognized as a genius from an early age. He was a great teacher and jurisprudent. But he was far more than that.
I will summarize his achievements in five points.
First, Yosef gave peace a chance. At a certain point, he was really willing to take a dovish stance politically. But then, when it was clear that the Palestinian Arabs didn’t want peace, Yosef, like the majority of others in Israel—including Sephardic Jews as well as myself and many of my friends-- realized it wasn’t going to work.
This is the most interesting point seen by many Israelis--though the Western media keep it a big secret so that there is not sympathy or understanding for their position.
In 2003 Rabbi Yosef wrote:
"I want to clarify my position with regard to Yesha [the West Bank settlements]. Not once have I thought that the Halachic [Jewish religious law]  ruling which I issued at the time regarding 'territories in exchange for peace' is not valid and does not apply to the current situation. I had intended only a true peace, one in which Jerusalem and its surrounding neighborhoods would rest secure, in peace and harmony. But now we see that on the contrary handing over territory from our holy land endangers lives.  We never intended such a peace. Therefore the Oslo agreement is null and void. For I am for peace and they are for war [Quote from Psalm 120] and we have no one to rely on but our Father in Heaven...."
"With much love, and one who seeks your well being with all my heart and soul; Ovadia Yosef."
That is the obvious experience that changed millions of Israeli minds, making them sure that peace isn't going to happen: the realization that handing over territory will not bring peace, that Arab states (and Iran or Turkey) will not accept Israel. The concept of 'territories in exchange for peace' is not valid and does not apply to the current situation; or at least it can and will be reversed by Islamists.
Second, he developed a Sephardic (or Mizrahi) Jewish (Middle East) pride, identity and community and political institutions.
Third, toward the nation as a whole, he did much to integrate Sephardim into a successful national identity to produce a united people. In the 1980s, there was a really potentially explosive conflict between Jews of Eastern and Western origins such that you cannot conceive of something like it today.
Fourth, Yosef was very successful in preventing a wall from developing between more and less pious Sephardic Jews, particularly compared to Jews of European origin. It was a huge achievement that many take for granted.
A Jew with European origins will usually be either secular, Modern Orthodox, or Haredi (“ultra-Orthodox,” which is a meaningless term). Most Sephardic Jews are probably far more open. My son compares them to a spectrum like Conservative (Masorti, traditional) and “ConservOdox (Conservative-Orthodox blend).
Fifth, Yosef integrated the Sephardim into the country rather than keeping them in isolation. Most of the Haredim try to avoid army service and paid jobs. This is unthinkable for the Sephardim.
Now, what are the negatives? The first was that the political party he created,  Shas, was very corrupt. Yosef trusted bad people to lead it.  The defense was that the Sephardim, the last historically to get that chance, were just getting their fair share. The result was that there was a lot of corruption.
The second was that in his late 80s, Rabbi Yosef became impatient and angrier. He made statements that were intemperate at times toward his Israeli opponents and the Arabs. I might point out, without excusing those words, that the Arabs deliberately murdered thousands of Jewish children, women, and men in terrorism (with fewer than ten reciprocations?); yet Israel was ready to agree to a two-state solution in 2000. Jewish terrorists, very few in numbers, were punished by law; Palestinian terrorists were never punished by their groups or their government; indeed, they were not even delegitimized.  On the contrary, they were held up as positive role models, as heroes.
Yosef never endorsed violence or terrorism. And also, as I said, he was just verbally tough against his Jewish opponents at times.
Now, the punch-line. What characteristic did the Western and Israeli media highlight after 93 years of a near-saintly life?
Of course, "anti-Arab racism!" (He also championed the immigration of Ethiopian Jews.) 
And what does the mass media say about another famous religious leader, Shaykh Yosef Qaradawi, who has praised Hitler, advocated terrorism, genocide, violence, and revolution? He is often described as a moderate.
And what do the left-wing parts of the Israeli media do?
They pretend that Yosef never learned the lessons he voiced in his 2003 letter when he and many other Israelis realized that while they had wanted "true peace," handing over land for peace didn't work.
That, dear readers, is unfortunately why Israeli voters must act as they do. And that is why they are, unfortunately correct.
Israel was ready for a compromise peace but concluded correctly that it wasn't possible because of the other side.  It is the biggest secret in the Middle East -- something the left tells lies about; the Arabs reject; and well-intentioned doves cannot admit.


The Israeli economy is expected to grow by 3.8 percent in 2013 and 3.3% in 2014, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday. The fund’s economists pointed out that Israel’s economy was strong, stable and diverse.
New Orthodox Soldiers in the IDF!
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Click here to watch: NEVER AGAIN!
Must-Watch- This might be the most powerful clip you ever see.
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
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What a unique honey dish! People will want to ooh and aah over it whenever they see it! The pomegranate form (a classic Jewish decorative motif) has been decorated with 24K gold plating in places, as well as numerous highlights of iridescent enamel and Amber crystals.
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I am writing to keep you informed about how the Coalition Government is building the stronger economy that all Australians want.

Following my first official visit as Prime Minister to Jakarta, this week I attended the APEC conference in Bali and the East Asia Summit in Brunei. 

I held talks with the President of China as well as leaders from India, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, PNG and Japan.  I also met with US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

The focus of my discussions with these leaders was strengthening our economic ties so that we see more trade, more investment, more jobs and growth.

The countries that are part of APEC represent over half the world’s GDP and $437 billion, or over 70 per cent, of Australia’s trade in goods and services.

Building closer economic ties with the region is part of our plan to strengthen the economy and create 1 million new jobs over the next five years.

Improved trade means more jobs and a stronger economy – it’s that simple. 

To this end, I have announced that the Coalition Government will:
  • Accelerate work on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement;
  • Establish an Australian Centre for Indonesian Studies at Monash University;
  • Continue work on a Free Trade Agreement with China – with an FTA expected within 12 months;
  • Take a major trade delegation to China in 2014 – including senior business people and premiers; and
  • Strengthen Australia’s relationship with Japan by progressing negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement and deepening and broadening our defence and security co-operation.

There was also strong support for the Government’s policy to establish a new two-way Colombo Plan, which will make our nation more Asia literate and strengthen the people-to-people linkages.

Every day, your government will keep working to deliver more jobs and a better future – for all Australians.

Tony Abbott
Prime Minister

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for October 10th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: ‘Unfair’ to ask how many have signed up for Obamacare

I’d be willing to bet that much of the traffic the Dems want everybody to mistake for demand for Obamacare is really more akin to a gawker delay near a traffic accident: People are slowing down to take a look at the wreck close up, but that doesn’t mean they’re wishing they’d been a part of it...

‘Launch the site to find out what’s in it’: Programmer says ‘looks like nobody tested it’

You mean the same people who ran with “pass it to find out what’s in it” didn’t properly design and test the website? Shocker!

Your tax dollars at work: Fed Ed funds $1 million worth of kayaks, toys for wealthy Conn. school district’s 'wellness initiative'

The Fed Ed boondoggle of the day...

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“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Faultless before the presence of his glory."
Jude 24
Revolve in your mind that wondrous word, "faultless!" We are far off from it now; but as our Lord never stops short of perfection in his work of love, we shall reach it one day. The Saviour who will keep his people to the end, will also present them at last to himself, as "a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish." All the jewels in the Saviour's crown are of the first water and without a single flaw. All the maids of honour who attend the Lamb's wife are pure virgins without spot or stain. But how will Jesus make us faultless? He will wash us from our sins in his own blood until we are white and fair as God's purest angel; and we shall be clothed in his righteousness, that righteousness which makes the saint who wears it positively faultless; yea, perfect in the sight of God. We shall be unblameable and unreproveable even in his eyes. His law will not only have no charge against us, but it will be magnified in us. Moreover, the work of the Holy Spirit within us will be altogether complete. He will make us so perfectly holy, that we shall have no lingering tendency to sin. Judgment, memory, will--every power and passion shall be emancipated from the thraldom of evil. We shall be holy even as God is holy, and in his presence we shall dwell forever. Saints will not be out of place in heaven, their beauty will be as great as that of the place prepared for them. Oh the rapture of that hour when the everlasting doors shall be lifted up, and we, being made meet for the inheritance, shall dwell with the saints in light. Sin gone, Satan shut out, temptation past forever, and ourselves "faultless" before God, this will be heaven indeed! Let us be joyful now as we rehearse the song of eternal praise so soon to roll forth in full chorus from all the blood-washed host; let us copy David's exultings before the ark as a prelude to our ecstasies before the throne.


"And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible."
Jeremiah 15:21
Note the glorious personality of the promise. I will, I will. The Lord Jehovah himself interposes to deliver and redeem his people. He pledges himself personally to rescue them. His own arm shall do it, that he may have the glory. Here is not a word said of any effort of our own which may be needed to assist the Lord. Neither our strength nor our weakness is taken into the account, but the lone I, like the sun in the heavens, shines out resplendent in all-sufficience. Why then do we calculate our forces, and consult with flesh and blood to our grievous wounding? Jehovah has power enough without borrowing from our puny arm. Peace, ye unbelieving thoughts, be still, and know that the Lord reigneth. Nor is there a hint concerning secondary means and causes. The Lord says nothing of friends and helpers: he undertakes the work alone, and feels no need of human arms to aid him. Vain are all our lookings around to companions and relatives; they are broken reeds if we lean upon them--often unwilling when able, and unable when they are willing. Since the promise comes alone from God, it would be well to wait only upon him; and when we do so, our expectation never fails us. Who are the wicked that we should fear them? The Lord will utterly consume them; they are to be pitied rather than feared. As for terrible ones, they are only terrors to those who have no God to fly to, for when the Lord is on our side, whom shall we fear? If we run into sin to please the wicked, we have cause to be alarmed, but if we hold fast our integrity, the rage of tyrants shall be overruled for our good. When the fish swallowed Jonah, he found him a morsel which he could not digest; and when the world devours the church, it is glad to be rid of it again. In all times of fiery trial, in patience let us possess our souls.

Today's reading: Isaiah 34-36, Colossians 2 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Isaiah 34-36

Judgment Against the Nations
1 Come near, you nations, and listen;
pay attention, you peoples!
Let the earth hear, and all that is in it,
the world, and all that comes out of it!
2 The LORD is angry with all nations;
his wrath is on all their armies.
He will totally destroy them,
he will give them over to slaughter.
3 Their slain will be thrown out,
their dead bodies will stink;
the mountains will be soaked with their blood.
4 All the stars in the sky will be dissolved
and the heavens rolled up like a scroll;
all the starry host will fall
like withered leaves from the vine,
like shriveled figs from the fig tree....

Today's New Testament reading: Colossians 2

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ....

Mary Magdalene

The Woman Who Had Seven Devils
Scripture References - Matthew 27:566128:1Mark 15:404716:1-19Luke 8:224:10John 19:25;20:1-18.
Name Meaning - The present Mary is distinguished from all others of the same name as "The Magdalene," which identifies her with her place of birth, just as Jesus was called "The Nazarene" because of His association with Nazareth. Magdala means "tower" or "castle," and in the time of Christ was a thriving, populous town on the coast of Galilee about three miles from Capernaum. Dye works and primitive textile factories added to the wealth of the community. It may be that "The Magdalene" was connected with the industry of the town for it would seem as if she was not without means, enabling her to serve the Lord with her substance.
Family Connections - We have no record of Mary's parentage, her marital status or her age. That she was free to follow Jesus in His journeyings would suggest that she had no home obligations.
Before we outline Mary's life and character, we deem it necessary to disassociate ourselves from those who connect her with the unnamed woman "which was a sinner." Luke, who knew her, wrote about this woman (Luke 7:37). The JewishTalmud affirms that Magdala had an unsavory reputation, and because of the harlotry practiced there was destroyed. Doubtless it was from this tradition, and from the fact that Luke's first reference to her follows the story of the sinful woman, that the idea developed that Mary was a prostitute, but there is not an iota of genuine evidence to suggest such a bad reputation. Those theologians who describe her as a profligate do her an injustice, just as calling institutions for the care of fallen women "Magdalen Homes" does. One writer defines Magdalen as "the inmate of a female penitentiary," but the Bible depicts Mary as a pure, though deeply afflicted woman before she met Jesus. To suggest that she was dissolute because she was possessed by seven devils, is to affirm that every insane person is depraved. There is no word whatever in the writings of the Christian Fathers, whose authority stands next to the apostles, as to Mary having a foul reputation.
The name of the woman taken in adultery was graciously withheld, but with every reference to "The Magdalen" her name is given, and after her liberation from demonic influence appears as one of the most faithful and beautiful characters of the Bible. The wide acceptance of the tradition that she was a reformed prostitute is utterly baseless. Mary was only a sinner in the sense that we all are, having been born in sin and shapen in iniquity. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Having sought to relieve Mary's name of the foul stigma attached to it, let us now outline her career.
She is mentioned fourteen times in the gospels, and from references to her we can see clearly what she did and how she did it. A striking feature in eight of the fourteen passages is that Mary is named in connection with other women, but she always heads the list, implying that she occupied the place at the front in service rendered by godly females. In the five times where she is mentioned alone, the connection is with the death and Resurrection of Christ (Mark 16:9John 20:1 111618). In one instance her name comes after that of the mother and the aunt of Jesus. She stood close by the cross with these women, but because of their relation to Jesus it would not have been fitting to put her name before theirs (John 19:25 ). No woman, however, superseded Mary in her utter devotion to the Master.
In Demonic Bondage
Although Mary was a woman of high standing and comfortable circumstances, she suffered from the malady of periodic insanity. For "the seven devils" we should read seven demons . There is only one devil - and one is more than enough - but there are legions of demons, or roaming fallen angels, who possessed men and women - and still do! Seven is a mystic number suggesting "completeness," implying that when the evil spirits dominated Mary the suffering was extremely severe. Afflicted with nervousness, she may have been the victim of violent epilepsy, and when Jesus saw her with her peace of mind and control of will destroyed she must have been a revolting object to look at with her disheveled hair, glaring eyes and sunken cheeks. Her demonic possession did not affect her morals, only her mind. Badness of character did not ensue, only the derangement of her mental faculties. Sometimes "love - misplaced and guilty love - has destroyed many women, first leading to insanity, and then to suicide.... Sometimes, too, women become victims of insanity by inheritance." What weakness Mary may have had, making it easy for demons to enter her, we are not told. This we do know, they met their Master in Him who came to destroy the works of the devil.
A Liberated Soul
Luke links Mary with Joanna and Susanna and "many others" as those healed of evil spirits and infirmities by Jesus. As Mary is referred to as having "seven demons" her condition must have been worse than the rest. But the moment Jesus' compassionate eyes saw the wild-eyed and cringing woman of Magdala, He saw in her the ministering angel who would be a blessing to His own heart and to others. In His authoritative voice He commanded the tormenting demons to come out - and stay out - of her. "Back! back! to your native hell, ye foul spirits of the pit," and the miracle happened. Her deranged and nerve-racked mind became as tranquil as the troubled lake Jesus calmed. Sanity returned, the rosy tint was restored to her cheeks, and she was made whole. Now, "clothed and in her right mind," she was ready to become one of the most devoted woman disciples of Him to whom she owed so much. That she was deeply grateful for physical and mental healing is shown by what she endeavored to do for her Deliverer and His cause. Saved from the terrible power of hell, she gave of her best to Him who had fully emancipated her from demonic possession. When Christ saved her, He liberated the highest virtues of sacrifice, fortitude and courage.
In Journeyings Oft
Delivered, Mary became a disciple. Freed from satanic bondage she became harnessed to the chariot of the Lord, and her personal ministrations, along with those of other women who had been healed, greatly aided Jesus in His missionary activities as He went from place to place preaching and teaching His message. Grateful, these women became generous, ministering unto Him of their substance. Mary left her home in Magdala to follow Jesus. Constantly on the move as Jesus and His disciples were, there were many details in connection with their personal comfort and well-being requiring attention to which these women could see. Quietly and effectively Mary would do what she knew needed to be done. Further, money was necessary for the Master's campaign work. We never read of Him or His disciples asking for money, yet funds were necessary. Much of it came from Mary and other women like her who had been so richly blessed of the Lord. Alas, not all who have benefited are grateful! Christ once healed ten lepers, but only one came back to thank Him for His grace and power. Emancipated, Mary helped Jesus to evangelize as she willing gave of her substance to help meet His needs. How much her personal presence and service must have meant to Jesus.
At the Cross
Mary went with her Lord into the shadows, and is thus represented as being among those who followed Jesus on His last sad journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. And as they followed, they still "ministered unto Him." Mary was present with the other holy women at the mock trial of Jesus. No longer is He on the road with crowds gathering and hanging on His words. Fearless in His declaration and denunciations, He is arrested and tried for His life. Some of His intimate friends had deserted Him, but Mary and her band did not forsake Him. The poet reminds us -
Not she with traitorous kiss her Master stung,
Not she denied Him with unfaithful tongue;
She, when Apostles fled, could dangers brave,
Last at the Cross, and earliest at the grave.
Mary was present in Pilate's Hall and saw and heard the religious leaders clamoring for the blood of Him who was so precious to her heart. She listened as Pontius Pilate pronounced His death sentence of crucifixion although he had found no fault in Him. She witnessed and wept as Jesus left the hall to be spat upon and ill-treated by the crowd thirsting for His blood. Then she saw Him led out to Calvary's fatal mount to be nailed to a tree.
Mary was one of the sorrowing group of holy women who stood as near as they could to comfort Jesus by their presence in the closing agonies of the crucifixion (Luke 23:49 ). Mary listened with a broken heart to His bitter cries and watched through those dread hours until at last the Roman soldier thrust his spear into the Saviour's side and declared Him dead. In the renowned picture gallery in the Louvre, there is a painting of desolation, despair and love. The artist has depicted the night of the crucifixion. "The world is wrapped in shadow; the stars are dead; and yet in the darkness is seen a kneeling form. It is Mary Magdalene with loving lips and hands pressing against the bleeding feet of Christ." Yes, she was there when they crucified her Lord.
No sooner had Jesus dismissed His spirit than the question arose among the Marys at the cross, "How could they secure that blood-stained body, and prepare it for burial?" Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, to the relief of the sorrowful mourners, had come for that very purpose. The artist Rubens, in his masterpiece, The Descent of the Cross represents Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Cleophas, assisting Joseph and Nicodemus in receiving the battered body from the tree, preparing it for burial, then placing the precious remains in the new tomb in the garden. Mary Magdalene remained "sitting over against the sepulchre" and "beholding" until Joseph had laid the Lord's body away (Matthew 27:61Mark 15:47Luke 23:55).
In the Garden
Last at the cross, where Jesus died as the Lamb of God, Mary Magdalene was also the first at the garden tomb to witness the most important event in world history and the pivotal truth of Christianity, namely the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. What a great honor God conferred upon the faithful Mary Magdalene in permitting her to be the first witness of that Resurrection! She was at the tomb early on that first Easter morning, and as the light of earliest day filtered across Jerusalem, she peered into the cave. Seeing it was empty, she wept. Then John, the inspired genius who wrote in unusually terse Greek, describes what happened in a way unparalleled in narrative literature. Finding the grave empty Mary rushed to Peter and John, and most excitedly said, "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre and we know not where they have laid him." These disciples returned with Mary Magdalene to the tomb and found that what she had told them was true, then departed "to their own homes." But not Mary! She stood at the door of the sepulcher weeping, and as she wept two angels appeared, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Seeing her distressed and afraid, they tenderly asked, "Woman, why weepest thou?" Tremblingly she replied, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him."
What pathos is in the word "my Lord" - my very own Lord, the One who did so much for me, and whom I loved to serve. Turning away she saw a figure, and thinking He was the gardener answered in reply to the question: "Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?" - in words most courageous - "Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away."
Mary, so full of her Lord, felt that all others must know Him whose body was missing from the tomb. Then one word from the Voice she now recognized uttered her name, "Mary"! That old familiar tone gripped her heart, and instantly she cried "Rabboni!" which was her strongest expression of reverent love. Casting herself before the risen Lord, she would have clasped His feet, but He said, "Do not cling to me!" Thrilled at having Jesus alive again, Mary's love was of a nature which leaned upon the human presence of Jesus. Along with the other disciples, Mary, too, had to learn how "to rise to a higher and at the same time a nearer, but spiritual communion with Him.... Her earthly affection needed to be elevated into a heavenly love" (John 20:25-29).
Then Jesus commissioned Mary to become the first herald of His Resurrection. She had to go and announce the greatest good news ever proclaimed, "Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God." We can imagine with what speed Mary ran back through the gates of Jerusalem to tell the disciples that their Lord who had died was alive forevermore. Mary had stayed near to Christ in His journeyings, and had cared for many of His human needs until His corpse was laid in the tomb. He now rewarded her with a closer knowledge of things divine, and she was given an honor that cannot be taken away from her, namely, that of being the first among men or women to see the Risen Lord, and to receive the first message from His lips (John 20:18). Although this is the last glimpse we have of Mary Magdalene, we have no hesitation in assuming that she was present with the women (Acts 1:14 ) who assembled with the apostles in the upper chamber for prayer and supplication, and to await the coming of the promised Spirit. Upon that historic day, Pentecost, when a bequeathed Guide and Comforter came, Mary must have been caught up by His power and made an effective witness of her risen and now ascended Lord.
There are one or two important lessons we can learn from Mary of Magdala. First of all, in her we see what Christ is able to do for a woman. When He first met her she was an afflicted, tormented soul, but Jesus healed her of her insanity and also of the maladies of her soul, and made her His loyal and sacrificial follower. Have we been cleansed of demon-like sins? This is the application Alexander Whyte makes in his study of this Mary: "We do not know just what Mary Magdalene's seven scars were. But for our learning, Dante's own seven scars are written all over his superb autobiographical book" -
Seven times
The letter that denotes the inward stain,
He on my forehead, with the truthful point
Of his drawn sword inscribed. And "Look," he cried,
When enter'd, "that thou wash these scars away."
John Bunyan has the same number at the end of his Grace Abounding -
I find to this day these seven abominations in my heart. Pride, envy, anger, intemperance, lasciviousness, covetousness, spiritual sloth - these were Dante's seven scars on his sanctified head.... It is better to enter into Heaven with seven devils excavated out of our hearts as with a knife, than to have them gnawing in our hearts to all Eternity.
A further lesson is that of what a woman can do for the One who has done so much for her. Once Mary was healed and saved, she practiced her faith in following Jesus and ministering to Him and His disciples of her substance and witnessing to His death and Resurrection to others. Are there not a thousand ways in which converted and consecrated women can serve the Master acceptably. Mary's gratitude and love manifested itself in devotion to Christ. She owed much, gave much, loved much, served much. Has He expelled Satan from our lives? If so, are we loving and serving Him to the limit of our capacity, daily witnessing to the power of His Resurrection?

[Thŏm'as] - twinOne of the twelve apostles of Christ, and called also Didymus (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; John 11:16; 14:5; 20:24-29; 21-2; Acts 1:13).

The Man Who Doubted

Thomas, we are told, was not really a name but an epithet, meaning, like its Greek equivalent Didymus, "the twin." David Smith suggests that the apostle's name was Judas, but that he was named "the twin" to distinguish him from Judas, the son of James, and Judas Iscariot. Tradition credits him with the authorship of a gospel which is included in apocryphal literature.
Zealous, inquisitive and incredulous, he earned the title of "Thomas the Doubter." Because of his hesitancy in accepting the disciples'story of the Resurrection of Christ, Thomas has come down through the centuries as a typical pessimist and sceptic. But was he an habitual doubter? Some authorities suppose that the name Didymus alluded to his doubting propensities, since some versions render it as "doubleminded."
Had we only the record of the first three gospels, Thomas would be to us simply a name, but John rescued him from oblivion, made him a reality to us and surrounded him with an undying interest. Tradition has it that he died a martyr.
Three traits seem to stand out in John's cameo of Thomas:
I. When he saw what he ought to do, nothing kept him back. When Jesus expressed his intention of going into Judea again, Thomas urged the disciples to accompany Christ even though it might mean death (John 11:16).
II. When he saw what he ought to do, he only wanted to see how he was to do it. At the Last Supper he acknowledged his ignorance of the place the Lord was going to and asked how he could know the way (John 14:5).
III. When he saw what it was he had to believe, he only wanted to see that it was right, and then to him there was no help for it. After our Lord's resurrection Thomas refused to believe in its reality except upon conditions which he himself laid down. How stirring was his confession of faith once convinced of the Resurrection (John 20:28; 21:2).
October 10, 2011
How to Let Peace Rule
Today's Truth
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts (Colossians 3:15a, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Understanding peace does not guarantee the presence of peace. I can fill my days with so many tasks, meetings, appointments, tasks and activities that peace disintegrates before noon. In Colossians 3:15, Paul encourages us to "let the peace of Christ rule" in our hearts. The word "rule" is an athletic term meaning "to preside at the games and distribute the prizes." Sounds like a typical day in the life of a woman to me!
In the Greek games, there were judges who rejected the contestants who were not qualified and disqualified those who broke the rules. Today, we would call them "umpires" and the playing field of peace would be our hearts. "Heart" refers to "the center of one's being." Peace begins its reign in the center of our being; then works its way out into every nook and cranny of life - if we allow peace to rule.
Admittedly, there are times in life when an umpire seems like a good idea because many of us relish a good fight. We say we want peace, but not at the price of giving up control or surrendering personal agendas. We must stand firm in our resolve to pursue harmony and peace, even if it means giving up rights and yielding control.
Relationships must be committed to peace. It is difficult to wage war with someone who has laid down their weapons in an act of surrender. Ah, there's that dreaded word again - surrender. Surrender is the heart beat of peace. The choice to surrender initiates the process of allowing peace to rule. I guess you could say the peace of God is our "umpire" and in every situation and stands ready to make the calls that will lead us to rest in and trust Him - when we choose to let peace rule. The work of peace is always unleashed by our choices which invite the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.
Choose to be obedient.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:16-17, NIV).
The lakes in Florida are beautiful, but relatively shallow as well. Over the years, they fill up with the silt and mire that wash off the shore. In time, they accumulate 2 to 3 feet of mire and decaying vegetation at the bottom. Soon that mire begins to deprive the lake, plants and fish of valuable oxygen and eventually the lakes literally die. In order to halt this process, a program has been put in place to drain the lakes periodically and expose the mire. After the mire is exposed, workers come in and dredge the mire - restoring the lake bottom to its original condition. The lake water can then be raised and soon the lake, its vegetation and fish are thriving again.
Our lives are much the same. We need to regularly expose and eliminate the "mire" or sin in our lives. The more we seek God, walk in obedience and nurture our relationship with Him, the stronger our peace will grow. When we have a personal relationship with God, we also have access to all of God's power and all of God's peace. How much power we receivefrom Him and how much peace we experience in Him depends upon how right our relationship is with Him.
Admonish one another with all wisdom (Colossian 3:16b, NIV).
“Admonish” literally means “to warn, to instruct or correct.” Paul is talking about obedience that is guarded by accountability. As John 14:23 (NCV) states, how much we love God is measured by how much we obey God. “Jesus answered, ‘If people love me, they will obey my teaching.’” Obedience is easier in an atmosphere of accountability.
Dan and I learned countless life lessons in ministry but one of the most important lessons was in the area of accountability. Hardly a week passes without a distressed phone call from some pastor or pastor’s wife, asking for help in their marriage, their ministry, or their personal lives. The problems ranged from drug addictions and alcoholism, to extra-marital affairs, prodigal children, mishandling church funds or...well, you name it! Every phone call serves as a reminder for us to be diligent in our efforts to maintain integrity. Wooden office doors at the church have been replaced with glass doors. We have a staff of professional counselors who handle the mounting demands and need for ongoing, personal counseling. Weekly staff meetings always include a time of holding each other accountable for time spent with children, dates with spouses as well as blunt conversations concerning potential temptations or struggles. Accountability is a hedge of protection that helps protect us from the storms and temptations in life.
After planting several pine trees in our front yard, I was concerned that they were not growing straight, even though we had planted them straight. One of our neighbors told me not to worry. “The winter winds are coming,” she explained. “The pines will grow against the wind and naturally straighten themselves while gaining strength to survive the winter.” Her words of plant-life-wisdom ring true for each one of us. Obedience and accountability encourage peace and strengthen us for the storms of life.
Let’s Pray
Father, I am weak and recognize my helplessness to be obedient without Your strength and power. I have sinned against You, Lord. I now confess that sin and choose to turn away from it. Thank You for the forgiveness and restoration I find in You.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Spiritual maturity is not measured by how much we know. Spiritual maturity is measured by how much we do. The confession of sin is an important spiritual discipline we need to cultivate in order to grow in Christ. Read and memorize the following verses of Scripture:
More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Mary's book, Escaping the Stress Trap, is based on Psalm 23 and is a step-by-step plan for dealing with the stress in life and learning to truly trust God. Looking for a Bible study? Check out Mary's E-Book Bible studies,How to Find Your Missing Peace and Winning the War with Temptation.
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Girlfriends in God
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Matthews, NC 28106
T. Suzanne Eller
October 10, 2011
"The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Romans 8:16 (NIV)
We found out in early June that a beautiful gift might be coming to our family. It was something for which my sweet daughter and son-in-law had longed for over three years.
We'll never forget the day they got the news they'd been chosen by a birth mother to receive the gift of her child. A whirlwind erupted as we all came together to create a nursery and buy the necessities. Five days later a perfect little baby boy was born, and Josh and Melissa brought their long awaited, beautiful miracle home.
Walking with them through the adoption process has made me treasure even more these words in Romans 8:15"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father." (NKJV)
Initially, we didn't know the baby's name, what he might look like, or what his ethnicity might be. We didn't know how old he would be, or whether he would be a boy or a sweet baby girl. All we knew is that long before my daughter and son-in-law held him in their arms, they loved him.
Now that the gift of this sweet baby being adopted into our family is a reality, his parents are changing diapers and slogging through sleep-deprived nights. It's not easy, but he is so worth every bit of sacrifice they are making.
He's still wanted. Still treasured. Still loved. Still a miracle in every way.
Sometimes we may look at God and wonder if we are a bother. After all, we're a work in progress. We get busy and forget to treasure our times with Him. We promise ourselves we'll grow spiritually, and then lose our temper with a loved one.
Perhaps today you struggle with accepting God's love. Our key verse says you don't have to fear rejection, because you are adopted. God loves you just like Josh and Melissa love their new son, but in a God-like measure.
And, in the same way when our grandchild was adopted, he went to court with his mom and dad, and a judge, who had the authority, pronounced the adoption as official. It was irrevocable.
Did you know God's Word is your authority? Romans 8:14-16 promises that God's love for you is also irrevocable. You are signed, sealed and officially His child. Today, as His adopted child, ask the Holy Spirit to gently remind you one more time of Whose you are and how very loved you are by Him!
Dear Lord, You are my Abba Father! Today I place all fear aside and place my trust in You. I walk into Your arms where I am welcome. Thank You for that marvelous gift, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Suzie's blog to download a PDF file with scriptures that remind you that you are God's child.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
Write down Romans 8:14-16 and place it where you can see it every day. Read it outloud until it becomes anchored in your spirit.
When I feel fear in my relationship with God, perhaps it is because I am putting my trust in feelings, or the words of others. If my Abba Father says I am His, that's the final word. How does that change the way I view my relationship with God?
Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 6:18, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." (NIV)
Galatians 3:26, "So in Jesus Christ you are all children of God through faith." (NIV)
© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Skills: Accountability

Effective leaders use the same standards for themselves that they apply to others. They hold themselves accountable just like everyone else on the team. Maintaining such accountability involves seeking 360-degree honesty. Skilled leaders consistently receive feedback from those who work above them, beside them and for them. A failure to provide a structure for such accountability will lead to a crisis of character and leadership.
The tragedy of King David underscores what can happen when leaders fail to create a structure in which they are answerable for how they spend their private and professional time. Ultimately, as he did with David, God will hold every leader accountable.
David was the king who had it all. He enjoyed an intimate walk with God, a family, a stable political position and an unbroken string of military victories. The one thing he didn't have was Uriah's wife. And that was what he wanted. While the rest of his army was at war, he stayed at home. Apparently, nobody dared question the wisdom of his hiatus. With nobody to answer to he committed the acts of adultery and murder described in today's readings.
The most important verse in the chapter is verse 27. There Samuel informs us tersely, "But the thing David had done displeased the LORD." While David could hide his sins from his associates, he couldn't hide them from God. One day the prophet Nathan confronted David, and the king discovered that even kings are accountable for their actions.
Wise leaders don't wait for a crisis to establish accountability. They establish structures and relationships that harness their sin and unleash their potential. Do you practice 360-degree honesty? Do you have someone to whom you are accountable for your private and professional life?
This Week's Verse to Memorize 2 Corinthians 5:7,9-10

We live by faith, not by sight...So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Accountability and Who God Is
If all humans and angels are accountable to God, to whom or to what is God accountable? Scripture gives an unambiguous answer: to no one and to nothing. There is no higher person or principle that God must consult before doing something. Turn to Romans 11:33-36 for a description of God's ultimate authority.
Accountability and Who I Am
There are many ways in which we can give the appearance of accountability while avoiding its reality. What is the purpose of accountability, and why do people generally try to evade it? How many of us perceive genuine accountability as being in our own best interest, regardless of the degree of inconvenience it may at times entail? Turn to 2 Kings 5:20-27 to study the story of a man who thought he could avoid accountability.
Accountability and How It Works
A leader needs to hold his or her followers accountable for their actions. But who holds the leader accountable? His or her peers. Peter was a leader in the early church, but he called his fellow "shepherds of God's flock" to be accountable to one another and to God. Turn to 1 Peter 5:1-4 to sit in on one of the world's first accountability groups.
Accountability and What I Do
Every person needs a few close friends to help in reaching his or her full potential. In Galatians 6:7 Paul makes it clear that we'll reap what we sow. That's as true for leaders as it is for farmers.


Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God

by Kenneth Boa
Buy the Handbook!
All the features of The Leadership Bible created by Kenneth Boa, Sid Buzzell, and Bill Perkins have been combined in this attractive and compact black leather volume. Handbook to Leadership has four parts: 52-Week Leadership Guide, Topical Leadership Guide, Leadership Character Studies, and Books of the Bible Leadership Guide.

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