Friday, November 15, 2013

Fri Nov 15th Todays News

I believe the reason for Rudd's sudden departure is entirely because of an unforeseeable event. I won't explicitly state it, but it has to do with accusations and leadership. Were Rudd to stay, it might be interpreted that he caused the allegation to come into being. Even if Rudd hasn't, he can't prove it because of past behaviour. He would be treated worse than Mal Colston.
Rudd's agenda is driven by fear. It may be irrational fear, but still paralysing. 
Mundine used to be an atheist, but he found Islam. Now mysteriously, his place has been firebombed. No one knows why. No one even guesses a reason. A bit like Rudd leaving the parliament. However, there is an excuse, given by an Australian, Uthman Badar, who says ASIO is at fault for investigating .. Presbyterians (?). ABC is primed and ready to blame Mr Abbott, and Mr Turnbull should he succeed him before Christmas. 
ALP believe in foreign aid. It is important and many people are reliant on it for their livelihoods .. like ALP campaign workers. Latham isn't sure. But he thinks it is a bad thing if Rudd did it. Sixty five of three hundred pedophiles recently arrested are Australian. Some in professions entrusted with the care of children. No word yet as to how many were in the ALP. On that issue alone, journalists are begging not to be told. 
Happy birthday and many happy returns Zarayah IsraelBarney Day and Andrew Cheng. Born on the same day, across the years, along with


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (5:47am)

Police investigating the incinerated ruins of Anthony Mundine’s coffee shop struggled yesterday to come up with a possible motive for the fire-bombing.
“Anthony Mundine is Australia’s greatest and most revered sports star,” said one mystified officer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Who on earth would ever want to do him any harm?”
Some authorities believe that the attack on Mundine’s business may have been the result of a simple mistake. “Perhaps the bomber meant to burn down the crèche at the end of the street,” said one officer. “Late at night, all of these places look kind of the same.”

At the site of his former business, sports superlegend Anthony Mundine shares the nation’s deep puzzlement

Another officer pointed out that a nearby florist was a more likely target of the bomber’s rage. “Mrs Thompson can get pretty curt with customers who ask for daffodils out of season,” he said.
Despite hours of detailed searching, by late yesterday arson squad detectives admitted that they didn’t have a single clue. “We keep coming back to the incentive issue,” one said. “It’s unbelievable that anyone would intentionally damage a business owned by Anthony Mundine, the universally adored boxing and rugby league icon.”
According to police psychologists, the attacker may have been motivated by the understandable desire to attract Mundine’s attention and possibly become his friend. “He is, after all, Australia’s number one hero of all time,” one NSW police profiler explained. “People do strange things when they’re in love.”
Picking his way between burst containers of accelerants, charred fuses and exploded detonators at Mundine’s former coffee shop, an investigator offered a very plausible theory that the entire incident was just a tragic accident. “Clearly, nobody in Australia would ever aim to deliberately damage anything associated with the nation’s finest man,” he said. “What we have here is an absolute mystery with no possible answer.”


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (2:48am)

Once Bob Ellis discovers that he is the George Costanza of Australian politics, there will be no stopping him. Ellis will instantly transform from the nation’s least-accurate pundit into a predictive powerhouse incapable of error.
Until then, however, he’ll just be poor old Bob, getting it wrong over and over again. Here’s his latest call on Prime Minister Tony Abbott: 
He will be terminal by Christmas, and gone within a year. 
Thanks, Bob. Lock him in for three terms. Minimum.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (2:44am)

The NYT’s first description of Barack Obama’s big healthcare lie: 
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. 
The NYT’s latest description of Barack Obama’s big healthcare lie: 
The split between lawmakers and the White House reflects the dilemma the president finds himself in as he seeks to follow through on last week’s acknowledgment about his incorrect promise on health care coverage. 
Via Iowahawk. Further on the lying President’s Obamascam from James Morrow
How poorly has the system performed? ?By one estimate in the? first month of the program just 50,000 Americans had successfully ?signed? up ...
To put those numbers in perspective, that’s about the same number of followers as The Daily Telegraph‘s Joe Hildebrand has on Twitter. Though in Joe’s favour, the federal government is not compelling anyone to follow his feed.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (2:10am)

Kevin Rudd, the great furniture saver, lit one final fire on his way out: 
Bill Shorten was heard swearing as he left the parliamentary chamber on Wednesday night after being forced to deliver a political eulogy to Kevin Rudd.
The new Labor leader was given 10 minutes notice that the man he replaced was about to drop his bombshell during a division on a vote to raise the government’s debt ceiling.
“He was furious,” said a Labor source, who saw Mr Shorten walking out of the chamber muttering.
“Rudd obviously didn’t tell him because he thought he would leak it.” 


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (1:47am)

Several decades before Typhoon Tony, English fast bowler Frank Tyson was in charge of the planet’s weather.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (1:35am)

Greens leader Christine Milne is protected this week by climate angels:


Greens commie Lee Rhiannon with a big giant puppet submarine:



Tim Blair – Friday, November 15, 2013 (1:06am)

Fairfax’s Lady Pages are the willing dupes of Big Phone.
(Also from the Prick: deep thoughts on Sophia Loren and pasta.) 

Extremist provides ready-for-use excuse for terrorists

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (11:26am)

What a disgraceful and dangerous comment by a man it is our misfortune to have given a new home:
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar distributed a dossier accusing the government’s counter-terrorism laws of unfairly targeting the Muslim community.
He also claimed the government was deliberately trying to antagonise Muslims into reacting violently.
“An act of violence or terrorism is possible by someone who can’t be controlled,” Badar said yesterday.
These laws and the surveillance tactics of ASIO and counter-terrorism police is begging for a reaction from disenfranchised Muslims. The government should be warned.”
So police are wicked to suspect Muslims could commit terror here because that makes it likely Muslims could commit terror here?
I think Badar has that exactly the wrong way around. There is a reason why police started to monitor Muslims here, rather than Buddhists and Hindus.
This is an extremist already providing an excuse to terrorists searching for one, in my opinion 

Why must we all pay for a broadcaster that is Anything But Conservative?

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (11:01am)

Why are all taxpayers forced to contribute to a $1.1 billion a year fund for a clearly partisan broadcaster, pushing a Leftist agenda? I suspect more politicians will ask this question:
Queensland Liberal senator Ian Macdonald told the upper house on Thursday he faces an increasing number of queries from constituents about when the ABC will be privatised.
“Quite clearly the ABC ... its news broadcasts, its television broadcasts, are no longer in the way of dissemination of fact,” Senator Macdonald said.
Presenters are offering their own opinions to viewers, he said.
“You’ve only got to look at any of their current affairs programs and it’s always the Green-type agenda that comes up, or the ultra left-wing social agenda.”
Senator Macdonald conceded same-sex marriage is an important issue but questioned why it dominates the broadcaster’s news agenda.
“The ABC seems fixated on it."…
Senator Macdonald said people were asking why the public purse should pay for the ABC when it is doesn’t appear to be a balanced provider of news.
(Thanks to Rudi.) 

Foreign aid budget spent on Labor’s assistant national secretary

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (10:43am)

Astonishing. How the Left bureaucracy look after their own, using taxpayer money meant for foreign aid:
One of the Labor Party’s most powerful machine-men, ALP assistant national secretary Nick Martin, has a large portion of his salary paid from a $1 million per year federal government AusAID grant, which he administers and which is designed for the promotion of democracy in developing countries.

Concerns about this practice have led some senior Labor MPs to question whether it is appropriate for a full-time party official to have his salary defrayed in this way.

One critic of the partial repayment of Mr Martin’s salary from the democracy program said ... he believed it was inappropriate and impossible to know what part of his time Mr Martin spent promoting democracy (and billing that time to AusAID), and what part of his time he spent working for the ALP: “This is a person who is supposed to campaign full-time for the Labor Party. There is no way this grant was envisaged as a way to subsidise political activity for the administration of the party,” he said.

“So this could be a $60,000 or $70,000 subsidy per annum – and it’s meant to be for promoting international democracy and sending people here or overseas.”

It is understood that the ALP secretariat bills about 40 per cent of Mr Martin’s salary to the democracy program which is administered by AusAID and was established in 2005 by the Howard government.

The grant delivers triennial funds of $1 million per year to the ALP and the Liberal Party and $200,000 to the Greens…

Under the funding agreement, at least 50 per cent of the APPDP money is required to be used by the political parties to promote democracy in developing countries. The rest can be used for international activities in developed countries, a loose stipulation that critics claim gives all recipients a chance to use it for whatever they wish.
Simply disgusting.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Latham on Rudd’s “stolen generation” apology: of “dubious value”

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (9:46am)

Former Labor Minister Mark Latham on what’s billed by many as Kevin Rudd’s greatest political achievement:

His other iconic moment – the apology to the stolen generations – is of more dubious value. It marked the triumph of political symbolism over substance, something that needed to be done, but also something that did nothing to change the Third World living standards of indigenous Australians.
In practice, the apology exposed the huge gap between the political class and the rest of the nation. It must have been an exhilarating day inside Parliament House on February 13, 2008, because MPs from that period are always talking about it, especially with Rudd’s retirement.
But for other Australians it raised a bigger question: why bother to organise a ceremonial apology but then fail to do the things that really matter, such as education reform and job creation, for Aboriginal people?
Why would our politicians want to prance around with a national apology but then leave those in receipt of their atonement living in squalor?
Like Rudd’s career itself, it was essentially an exercise in gesture politics and public relations, overshadowing the higher degree of difficulty his government faced in giving Australia’s first inhabitants the same life opportunities as white people.
I’d disagree with Latham on the need for the apology. The “stolen generations” is a myth, and apologising for it entrenched a victim culture, preached a deceit, and stopped us from saving some Aboriginal children from rape, neglect, abuse and even death

Arrested: the kind of people you’d trust with your children

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (9:27am)

Also disturbing is the kind of people arrested - members of the caring and protecting professions:

Sixty-five Australians are among more than 300 people arrested following an investigation into a global child pornography ring allegedly operating out of Canada.
Six children have been removed from harm in Australia, the Australian Federal Police said…
The arrests included 40 school teachers, nine doctors and nurses, 32 people who volunteered with children, six law enforcement personnel, nine pastors or priests, and three foster parents...

Rudd quits to Shorten’s curses

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (9:21am)

Bill Shorten pays public tribute to Kevin Rudd on his retirement from Parliament:

I want to pay tribute to Kevin Rudd and thank him ... I do not believe we will see his like again in Australian politics.
Bill Shorten pays private tribute to Kevin Rudd on his retirement from Parliament:
BILL Shorten was heard swearing as he left the parliamentary chamber on Wednesday night after being forced to deliver a political eulogy to Kevin Rudd.
The new Labor leader was given 10 minutes notice that the man he replaced was about to drop his bombshell during a division on a vote to raise the government’s debt ceiling.
“He was furious,’’ said a Labor source, who saw Mr Shorten walking out of the chamber muttering.
“Rudd obviously didn’t tell him because he thought he would leak it.’’

Abbott a leader in a new climate of non-attendance

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (9:08am)

Seems Tony Abbott is actually far from alone in not sending a minister to the UN’s latest talkfest in global warming. From The Guardian:

Warsaw climate talks: nearly 3 in 10 countries not sending ministers

According to statistics released by the UN, over 10,000 people will spend the next two weeks swarming through its corridors, busily going about their business of trying to find a solution to climate change.
But only 134 of these will be ministers, in spite of the fact that there will be 189 countries attending the conference…
The number of ministers registered to attend does not always reflect the final head count, with the potential for attendees to drop out at the last minute.
But who cares if the conferences grow increasingly useless. Free travel! Moral grandstanding!

But in spite of the overall poor ministerial attendance, the number of participants at this conference has increased from last year—precisely 10,106 are registered to attend, compared to the 9004 who turned up last year in Doha.
That figures. Warsaw is nicer than Doha.
(Via Catallaxy Files.) 

What would it take for the New York Times to call Obama a liar?

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (9:03am)

Tim Blair on the New York Times, which seems unable to call out a liar when it’s a politician of the Left:

The NYT’s first description of Barack Obama’s big healthcare lie: 
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.
The NYT’s latest description of Barack Obama’s big healthcare lie:

The split between lawmakers and the White House reflects the dilemma the president finds himself in as he seeks to follow through on last week’s acknowledgment about his incorrect promise on health care coverage. 

Labor sucks up to a press gallery out for more than they should get

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (8:48am)

Labor’s attack in Parliament yesterday on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was a sucking up to sympathetic journalists who are in their power struggle against this government - a struggle for information that helps journalists but hurts attempts to stop the boats:
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten:

Why is it that Australians can find out more about Australian government policies in the Jakarta Post than from the hapless Minister for Immigration and Border Protection? ... Many Australians, I suspect, have not signed up to a subscription to the Jakarta Post. Instead, they hope that our own media will be able to tell them what the government are doing on an important issue like boats. But can they find in our own media all of the details? No, they cannot…
There is an arrogance creeping into this government, which has even been identified by members of the media.
Respected political commentator Laurie Oakes has written that it is disgusting and that the government is thumbing its nose at voters. In 2010 the Prime Minister said to the same respected journalist that his position did indeed change his mind in response to changing circumstances.
Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke:

The journalists have been complaining for some time about the fact that basic pieces of information are not being made available to them…
If you want to be a minister in this parliament who is accountable to the Australian people, you need to recognise that they have a right to know. They have a right to know through the press gallery and through the media...
Labor should worry less about journalists demanding sexy copy and more about what the national interests requires. 

Not a Parliament that is working for Victorians

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (8:31am)

This kind of Parliament demands a fresh election if the people are to get the functioning government they deserve. John Ferguson:
[Victoria’s] Napthine government is slowly being strangled by the relentless insecurity that comes with struggling for a majority in the parliament.
The government managed to pass just one bill in the Legislative Assembly this week when seven were slated to have been dealt with by yesterday afternoon.
Speaker Ken Smith’s decision to adjourn the parliament, rather than face a vote on the floor of the house, underpins the government’s fragility…
After all, 44 members of the 88 seat Legislative Assembly have declared they no longer have confidence in the Speaker…
This week’s chaos was caused because [independent MP Geoff] Shaw declared a lack of confidence in Mr Smith and voted with Labor to defeat the government’s legislative program.

Fear drove Rudd

Andrew Bolt November 15 2013 (8:22am)

A fine piece by Robert Macklin on the fear that drove Kevin Rudd:
I gradually became aware of the three faces of Kevin.
There was the kid from Eumundi who had never quite grown up, as the youngest child in a dysfunctional family. It was not a happy home. And within the conflict he was the almost obsessive favourite and consolation of a devoted Catholic mother…
He revelled in that early cocoon of affection. But while it insulated him with love, it stunted his emotional growth and found expression in the infantile slang that embarrassed his followers. But for many it was part of his charm. That was Cute Kevin.
There was the powerful intellect that fired his scholastic triumphs at university and set him on the road to diplomatic success, that sliced through woolly concepts to the nub of the matter… That was Clever Kevin.
Then there was the ruthless politician, the user, careless of others’ feelings but who actually thought that everyone operated this way and simply couldn’t understand when people were hurt and enraged by his attitudes. That was Cold Kevin.
What I found endlessly fascinating was the interaction between the three and the strength of will required to integrate and harness them to a soaring ambition born of a desperate need to control his destiny. For when his father died, he and his mother were lost, homeless, despairing and helpless, it was that scarifying experience - not rage but fear - that coalesced the several parts and propelled him towards his goal.
I would, though, quibble about the nature of Rudd’s intelligence. He was far from being able to slice through detail to get to a central truth. The detail was precisely what most entranced him, and gave him the chance to demonstrate his cleverness.   


JPMorgan Chase Begs For Mercy While Not Giving Us Any

JPMorgan Chase & Co. cancelled a planned question and answer session on Twitter yesterday after Americans began asking the bank real questions prior to the start of the session, denying JPMorgan Chase the ability to control the narrative.
I disagree .. I believe the reason for Rudd's sudden departure is entirely because of an unforeseeable event. I won't explicitly state it, but it has to do with accusations and leadership. Were Rudd to stay, it might be interpreted that he caused the allegation to come into being. Even if Rudd hasn't, he can't prove it because of past behaviour. He would be treated worse than Mal Colston. - ed
Them kids used to throw rocks at me .. barely human .. same species .. ed

27 surreal places to visit before you die 

Incredible -->

Democrat press is just being silly - ed
Love still survives .. although the lover may not .. ed

A topic we address on this week's Politely Rough... tune in at



Sweet, as life is .. ed
Let the flower power you - ed
m, death for murder. Then again, I'm just a right-wing conservative whose dreams will never be realised.>

Aprille Love
Met with the Philippine Red Cross, Attaché of the Department of Tourism, Consul General Representative. Its wonderful to have the community come together for this cause.#likeaboss #redcrossPH #tourismPH#raiseawareness #typhoonhaiyan

.. there is no evidence of abuse now .. can you link any? I don't mean historical accounts, but ongoing abuse .. this meme is abuse otherwise, inflammatory. Excusing terrorist activity.  - ed

no thank you .. no more than one .. for me .. ed===
Pastor Rick Warren
Vision is the ability to see potential in what others overlook.
I've seen that the most dangerous temptations, the most difficult challenges, and the most discouraging personal attacks, come from success, not failure.
All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading.


Men can learn from one another, but learning requires a process of thought on the part of every individual student. Men can cooperate in the discovery of new knowledge, but such cooperation requires the independent exercise of his rational faculty by every individual scientist. Man is the only living species that can transmit and expand his store of knowledge from generation to generation; but such transmission requires a process of thought on the part of the individual recipients. | Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal



That's what it's all about - ed
Jacqui featured in a YouTube video, where she sings a cover of Scott Alan's 'Kiss the air'.
Sex does not define life  - ed
Jayant Patel, with his wife, left, at a recent  Brisbane Supreme Court appearance.
Doctors bury their dead .. ed

Kerry has responsibility. If he can't exercise judgement over it, he shouldn't have it. There are those in Israel who agree with Kerry's position .. that is going to happen in a modern democracy. To inflate a stupid position over such an important matter is wrong I don't blame those within the liberal democracy. I blame them who have been given a burden of responsibility, yet abrogate it in favour of gross negligence.  - ed

Senators Told to 'Ignore Israel' On Iran - Israel National News 

Republican senators who were briefed about talks with Iran were reportedly told by Kerry to “disbelieve” what the Israelis say. - Elad Benari 

Note: attributed to Buzzfeed
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Help Us Fight for Human Rights in Burma; Donate Today

For ten years, USCB has been dedicated to fighting for human rights and democracy in Burma. Together, we celebrate the successes we achieved and confront the challenges that still remain.

Among the many successes we have accomplished alongside our supporters: the release Aung San Suu Kyi and hundreds of political prisoners, the renewal of key legislation annually, including vital cross-border humanitarian aid and the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act. Now the landscape of our work has dramatically shifted over the last year.

Because of renewed political and economic ties with the U.S. government and the Burmese government, human rights in Burma, once a priority to the international community, are now severely overlooked. Not only are we continuing to fight for human rights, but we now are fighting for human rights to even be a contributing factor in US-Burma policy.

We need your help now more than ever. Please consider a donation to USCB today.

Today, human rights abuses in Burma continue unabated:
  • Land grabs, sexual violence and rape, child soldiers, activists arrested, and forced labor are still common place for the Burmese government and military.
While the international community no longer demonstrates solidarity with those who fall victim, particularly the rural majority and ethnic nationalities, USCB continues to advocate for an end to human rights abuses and impunity.

This year we successfully advocated for the renewal of the Gem Ban, the release of more than 100 child soldiers and continue to push for an international independent investigation into human rights abuses andhumanitarian access to displaced populations.

It is a long road and we ask for your support to continue to advocate for an end to human rights abuses in Burma.

It has been incredible to witness the international community increase its economic and military engagement with the Burmese government without requiring political or human rights reform. It is vital that USCB continue to fight for human rights. Donate to USCB today, and continue supporting an end to human rights abuses in Burma. We refuse to ignore the plight of those suffering in Burma, and we need your help to continue the fight.

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for November 14th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Reminder: No matter how Obamacare enrollment is spun, the net number of uninsured is skyrocketing

According to the Obama administration, just over 106,000 people have health insurance plans in their shopping carts, and nearly four times that many signed up for Medicaid. Yay Obamacare!

Ed Schultz brings the funny; Blames ‘mainstream media’ for wanting Obamacare to fail

Mere weeks after saying Obamacare’s non-existent glitches were partly manufactured by the likes of Fox News, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz is now casting a larger net over the entire “mainstream media”...

Hey look, somebody’s finally been held accountable

The advice being offered by those “navigators” in James O’Keefe’s latest video was a symptom of a law that incentivizes such behavior to say the least (and many more won’t need a “navigator” to know that the less income they show the greater their subsidized benefit)...

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Emperor Pedro II of Brazil




Holidays and observances[edit]

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"I will cut off them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham."
Zephaniah 1:5
Such persons thought themselves safe because they were with both parties: they went with the followers of Jehovah, and bowed at the same time to Malcham. But duplicity is abominable with God, and hypocrisy his soul hateth. The idolater who distinctly gives himself to his false god, has one sin less than he who brings his polluted and detestable sacrifice unto the temple of the Lord, while his heart is with the world and the sins thereof. To hold with the hare and run with the hounds, is a dastard's policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double- minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree. The penalty pronounced in the verse before us is terrible, but it is well deserved; for how should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while loves the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?
My soul, search thyself this morning, and see whether thou art guilty of double-dealing. Thou professest to be a follower of Jesus--dost thou truly love him? Is thy heart right with God? Art thou of the family of old Father Honest, or art thou a relative of Mr. By-ends? A name to live is of little value if I be indeed dead in trespasses and sins. To have one foot on the land of truth, and another on the sea of falsehood, will involve a terrible fall and a total ruin. Christ will be all or nothing. God fills the whole universe, and hence there is no room for another god; if, then, he reigns in my heart, there will be no space for another reigning power. Do I rest alone on Jesus crucified, and live alone for him? Is it my desire to do so? Is my heart set upon so doing? If so, blessed be the mighty grace which has led me to salvation; and if not so, O Lord, pardon my sad offence, and unite my heart to fear thy name.


"And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn."
Genesis 29:26
We do not excuse Laban for his dishonesty, but we scruple not to learn from the custom which he quoted as his excuse. There are some things which must be taken in order, and if we would win the second we must secure the first. The second may be the more lovely in our eyes, but the rule of the heavenly country must stand, and the elder must be married first. For instance, many men desire the beautiful and well-favoured Rachel of joy and peace in believing, but they must first be wedded to the tender-eyed Leah of repentance. Every one falls in love with happiness, and many would cheerfully serve twice seven years to enjoy it, but according to the rule of the Lord's kingdom, the Leah of real holiness must be beloved of our soul before the Rachel of true happiness can be attained. Heaven stands not first but second, and only by persevering to the end can we win a portion in it. The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn. We must follow our Lord in his humiliation, or we shall never rest with him in glory.
My soul, what sayest thou, art thou so vain as to hope to break through the heavenly rule? Dost thou hope for reward without labour, or honour without toil? Dismiss the idle expectation, and be content to take the ill-favoured things for the sake of the sweet love of Jesus, which will recompense thee for all. In such a spirit, labouring and suffering, thou wilt find bitters grow sweet, and hard things easy. Like Jacob, thy years of service will seem unto thee but a few days for the love thou hast to Jesus; and when the dear hour of the wedding feast shall come, all thy toils shall be as though they had never been--an hour with Jesus will make up for ages of pain and labour.
Jesus, to win thyself so fair,
Thy cross I will with gladness bear:
Since so the rules of heaven ordain,
The first I'll wed the next to gain.

Today's reading: Lamentations 3-5, Hebrews 10:19-39 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Lamentations 3-5

1 I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the LORD’s wrath.
2 He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
3 indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
4 He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
5 He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
6 He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
7 He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
8 Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked....

Today's New Testament reading: Hebrews 10:19-39

A Call to Persevere in Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching....


The Woman in Whom Romance and Tragedy Were Blended
Scripture References - Genesis 29; 30; 31; 33:1, 2, 7; 35:16-26; 46:19, 22, 25; 48:7; Ruth 4:111 Samuel 10:2; Jeremiah 31:15Matthew 2:18
Name Meaning - Rachel was the first person in the Bible to have a proper name derived from the brute creation. Wilkinson remarks, "that, for the most part, the formation of a human name from that of an animal is traceable to some peculiarity either observed or desired in an individual, which would thus be most intelligently expressed in a rude and simple age." Rachel, the name of Jacob's beloved wife means "ewe," employed more or less as a title of endearment, just as the word "lamb" is among ourselves. Laban, accustomed to tenderly nursing the weak ewes as they were born, thought "ewe" to be a fitting name for his second daughter.
Family Connections - Rachel was the daughter of Laban, the son of Bethuel and Rebekah's brother. Rachel became the second wife of her cousin Jacob and the mother of his two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. (Compare material under Leah.)
As we have already shown, the characteristic feature of the Bible in pairing certain individuals, compelling us to compare and contrast the lives they lived together, makes it difficult to separate any couple and deal exclusively with one or the other. Invariably, as in the instance of Leah and Rachel, their lives were lived out in close association. Yet we must try and isolate Rachel from her sister, for the galaxy of the Bible's famous women would be incomplete without such a star. Surely, the much-loved wife of Jacob, and mother of Joseph, Israel's saviour, and also Benjamin, could not have been an ordinary woman even though she shone with reflected glory. From the many references to Rachel we have the following facets of her life and character -
She Was Naturally Beautiful
It would seem as if Rachel had all the loveliness of her aunt, Rebekah. The sacred record speaks of her as "beautiful and well favoured" (attractive). Her sister Leah was "tender-eyed," meaning some form of eye blemish making her less appealing than Rachel who prepossessed Jacob physically. Seeing her in all her natural charm and beauty, Jacob loved her. Although beauty may be only skin deep, it nevertheless wins admiration. The Hebrew form of Rachel's description ( Genesis 29:17) suggests that she was "beautiful in form and beautiful in look." That God does not look upon the outward appearance merely is evidenced by the fact, of which Ellicott reminds us, that "it was not Rachel, with her fair face and well-proportioned figure, and her husband's lasting love, that was the mother of the progenitor of the Messiah, but the weary-eyed Leah."
She Was Divinely Guided
While, as the younger daughter, it was Rachel's task to go to the well and draw water for her father's sheep, it was no mere coincidence that she went that day when Jacob arrived. She might have been sick or indisposed, and if Leah had had to go for the water that day, what a different story might have been written of Jacob, as well as of the history of Israel. Fleeing from his home to Haran, Jacob met God at Bethel and left it "lifting up his feet" (Genesis 29:1 , margin), implying a lighthearted alacrity as he continued his journey with the divine promise in his heart, "I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest" (Genesis 28:15). Thus, with the assurance of the divine presence and guidance as a guarantee of favor and safety he met the shepherds who told Jacob of Rachel (Genesis 29:6 ) - the name that was to charm his heart the rest of his life. That meeting between Jacob and Rachel was of God, and it was His providence that ordered the first glimpse of each other at the well. We are apt to forget that often the most seemingly ordinary incidents in life are as much of the divine plan as the smallest parts of a watch, and upon these smallest parts of the plan all the others depend. Our steps, when ordered by the Lord, lead to great issue.
As far as Jacob and Rachel were concerned that meeting was unforeseen and unpremeditated. "A divinely directed life is often shaped by circumstances that human prescience could not have foreseen." As soon as they met it was love at first sight, at least with Jacob. The first sight of his cousin's beautiful face and figure cast a spell over him and he "kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept." As she was his cousin, Jacob was not prevented from kissing Rachel by the etiquette of the East, which was the home of warm feelings and demonstrative actions. Probably the tears Jacob shed were those of gratitude to God in bringing him to his mother's relatives, and also tears of joy because he knew instinctively that the lovely maiden he kissed would be his wife. Jacob removed the stone from the mouth of the well, helped Rachel water the flock, acquainted her with his story, and was taken home by an excited Rachel where he was hospitably welcomed.
George Matheson draws our attention to the interesting fact that the meeting of Jacob and Rachel is "the first courtship in the Bible growing out of a cousinly relationship - in other words, as having its roots in a previous friendship." Jacob, a poet by nature, dazzled by Rachel's beauty, broke out into a deep lovebefore marriage - a thought to ponder in these days when young people are being told that pre-marital experiences are quite in order, to test whether they are suited for each other. Jacob was to prove that the typical trial of love is waiting, and he had to wait many a year before the one whom he loved, as soon as he saw her, became his wife.
She Was Deeply Loved
We are distinctly told that "Jacob loved Rachel," and that the seven years he served Laban for his daughter, "seemed to him but a few days, because of the love he had for her" ( Genesis 29:1820 ). Even after Jacob found that he had been deceived by Laban and had been given Leah instead, he served and waited for Rachel another seven years because "he loved her more than Leah" (29:30). From the first moment Jacob saw Rachel he loved her, and she became his choice as a wife. But while she alone was in the heart of her lover, "the real choice was not Jacob's but God's, and for the first place God had chosen Leah." In his second marriage, Rachel only received half of Jacob, the other half had been given to her rival sister.
While Leah might have had "the keys of Jacob's house, Rachel had the keys of his heart. Leah seems to have influenced his judgment: Rachel never ceased to hold his love. Leah bore Jacob six stalwart sons, Rachel was the mother of only two: but the sons of Rachel were dearer to him than the sons of Leah." Jacob is outstanding among male lovers in the Bible for the true, romantic, abiding love he bore for Rachel. Whether such a deep and ardent love was reciprocated we are not told. The Bible has no reference to Rachel's love for Jacob. She appears as a somewhat placid character. We have no record of any grief she felt, or protest she made when she discovered how Leah had taken the first place in Jacob's life. We would like to believe that Rachel's love for Jacob was as romantic as his was for her, and that also the years she had to wait for him seemed but a few days because of her heart's affection for Jacob.
She Was Cruelly Deceived
The deceit perpetrated by Laban upon Jacob, Leah and Rachel, adds color to the record. Laban cunningly beguiled Jacob into marriage with Rachel's elder sister and less beautiful sister. Jacob had accepted Laban's terms to take no wages for his labor in his fields, and at the end of the seven years' waiting expected to receive Rachel. In the gloom the bride appears closely veiled, according to custom. The ceremony is performed and the wedded pair return to their bridal chamber. But in the light of early morning Jacob discovers Laban's duplicity - a duplicity in which Leah must have had a part. How shocked Jacob must have been to behold the plain-looking, undesired Leah instead of the face of his dearest Rachel.
Leah, by her father's deceit, had stolen her sister's blessing. Isaac had blessed Jacob, believing him to be Esau, and now Jacob marries Leah believing her to be Rachel. In the moment of his surprised discovery did Jacob remember how he had stolen his brother's birthright by covering himself with a hairy skin and venison-smell, and making himself appear as Esau? Was this a retributive providence for his own deception of his blind and dying father?
Laban condoned his unrighteous act by declaring that in those times the younger daughter should not be given in marriage before the first-born. He should have told Jacob this when he covenanted to serve the first seven years for Rachel, or before the marriage anyhow. Jacob then became involved in two marriages, which were not deemed unfitting in an age when polygamy was tolerated even by godly men. For another seven years Jacob toiled bravely on, true love enabling him to persevere until Rachel was his. What interests us is the absence of any recorded protest on Rachel's part against her father's deception! Why did she not cry out when she saw that Leah, instead of herself, was being given to Jacob? If Rachel had resentment at the hour of marital vows between Jacob and Leah, she must have suppressed it. Why was she so placid amid such a calamity, at least for the man who loved her so deeply? Unmurmuringly, she goes on waiting for another seven years, ere she is able to share Jacob with the woman who by that time had borne him many children. Perhaps the deep, unchanging love Jacob had for Rachel found little echo from her own heart.
She Was Lamentably but Not Finally Barren
Once Rachel became Jacob's second wife, her continued barrenness created an unreasonable and impatient fretfulness within her soul. Seeing Leah's many happy children made her jealous. What anguish is wrapped up in the phrase, "But Rachel was barren" (Genesis 29:31 ). Says Donald Davidson, "Rachel would taunt Leah on not having the love of her husband, while Leah would find revenge in the childlessness of her rival." Rachel's whole being was bound up in the desire to become a mother, so she cried to Jacob, "Give me children, or else I die" (30:1). Rachel should have cried to God instead of Jacob whose anger was kindled against her for her impossible request. Certainly he loved Rachel with a true and tender love, and indignation because of her, must have been a source of bitterness. He should have thought of the bitterness of Rachel's disappointment, and quietly pointed out to her the withholdings of Providence.
Poor, childless Rachel was not forgotten by the Lord for He remembered her and opened her womb (30:22-24). She gave birth to a son, and thereby took away her reproach. The grateful mother became a prophetess for she called her baby Joseph, which means, "The Lord shall add to me another son" - which was not merely the language of desire but the prediction of a seer. Of all the children of Jacob, Joseph became the godliest and greatest. Renowned as the saviour of Israel he stands out as the most perfect type in the Bible of Him who was born of woman to become the Saviour of the world.
She Was Secretly Idolatrous
The time had come for Laban and Jacob to part. While Laban had learned by experience that he had been blessed for Jacob's sake the patriarch likewise had been blessed, and with his wives, children and rich possessions found he could no longer live at Haran. So he set out for his old home, and took with him all that God had given him. Laban was loathe to lose the diligent partner who had worked with him so faithfully for twenty years. While Laban was absent for a few days caring for his many sheep, Jacob gathered all his family, cattle and possessions and secretly left. Returning home and finding Jacob gone, Laban set out to overtake the travelers. Catching up with them Laban took Jacob to task not only for leaving so secretly but also for stealing some of his household goods and gods.
It was this accusation that revealed Rachel, lovely as she was, in an unlovely light. Although the wife of the heir to God's promises, she evidently was a secret believer in old heathen superstitions. She stole the household goods, and when Laban sought for them among the goods of Jacob, she had them hid beneath her person. In her cunning in hiding the small images in human form used for divination and which had a religious significance ( Judges 17:518:14171820 , etc.), Rachel manifested something of her father's duplicity. It was not until Jacob reached memorable Bethel that he buried those strange idols under the oak at Shechem. Those lifeless deities, the size of a miniature doll, were regarded as "indispensable evidence as to the rights and privileges of family ownership. Hence, Laban's query, 'Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?'" (Genesis 31:30 ). Because of his superstitious beliefs, Rachel likely stole the gods to insure a prosperous journey. Such relics from the old home would guarantee all continuance of the old good fortune. Jacob's trust was in the great God at the top of a ladder with its ascending and descending angels, but Rachel wanted humbler gods that she could see. Further, those household divinities suggest the laxity of true worship in the home.
Thus, although living in a polygamous state, maritally, Rachel was also guilty of religious polygamy. There was a professed relationship to the God of Israel, yet at the same time she was married to idols ( Genesis 30:2324 ). Rachel had no right to carry away what was not her own. Had she known that those stolen images would become a terrible snare in Jacob's family, perhaps she would not have taken them (35:1-5). Images and relics have always been dangerous elements in connection with true religious worship. How prone the human heart is to forsake the spiritual for the material, the Unseen for the seen and temporal! May ours be the constant desire to obey the apostolic injunction to keep ourselves from idols! (1 John 5:21).
She Was Tragically Taken
We now come to a feature peculiar of Rachel as a mother. Hers is the first recorded instance in the Bible of death in childbirth and her sepulchral pillar is the first on record in the Bible. It would seem as if Rachel had surrendered her idolatry before the death stroke fell on her. The hallowing influences of divine blessing on her husband and his seed as the result of Bethel, begot within her a sense of divine awareness. Young Joseph's great reverence for God bespeaks of Rachel's godly training in his boyhood years. Jacob's love for her and his stronger faith (Genesis 35:2-4) helped to purify her character and she lived on long after her death in the life of her noble son.
While Jacob and his host were on the way from Bethel to Ephrath, tragedy overtook Jacob when Rachel died in giving birth to her second son, Benjamin (35:16). She had named her first son Joseph, meaning, "The Lord shall add to me another son," which prediction was fulfilled when Benjamin was born. How often the brightest anticipations of life are clouded by the gloom of the grave! Rachel prayed for children, but the beginning of her second son's life was the ending of her own. What travail and anguish are resident in the phrase, "Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour ... she died" ( Genesis 35:1618). Facing death she called her son, Benoni, meaning "son of sorrow." Suffering had brought her to the gates of death and the gift she coveted proved to be a crushing burden under which she sank. But Jacob chose another name for their child and called him Benjamin, signifying, "the son of the right hand," and showered much affection upon the motherless child.
The last cry Rachel uttered as she died was "Benoni" - son of sorrow - and it is in the spirit of this Benoni that the Bible portrays Rachel. When Jacob came to die in extreme old age, he spoke sorrowfully of the early loss of his beloved Rachel who through her years had been caught in a web of much sorrow and unhappiness. He had loved her at first and ever afterward. Brokenhearted, Jacob buried Rachel on the way to Bethlehem, and set up a pillar over her grave. In "his heart that grave remained ever green, and he never ceased in fancy to deck it with flowers." In a previous grave at Shechem he had buried Rachel's idols, and with them her superstitious beliefs. Now he stands at the grave containing the dust of his beloved one and the pillar he placed over it was a sad memento of a broken heart. In later days Rachel's tomb became a conspicuous landmark (1 Samuel 10:2). With Leah, Rachel had helped to build the house of Israel (Ruth 4:11). One day Rachel's precious dust will be reanimated and she will sit down with the glorified with "Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."
She Was Symbolically Recalled
Rachel's cry for children was prophetic of the slaughter of the innocents when Christ was born (Matthew 2:16-18). Jeremiah pictures Rachel as rising from the grave to weep over the children being carried away to Babylon, never to return (Jeremiah 31:15 ). Thus the "Benoni" of Rachel's heart as she died has been re-echoed throughout the entire history of Israel. Often it does seem as if tragedy triumphs, but the key to the mystery of sorrow can be found in the words of the church which for centuries has been singing for Rachel whom Jacob loved -
Sad-eyed Rachel, do not weep,
Your children die as martyrs go;
They are the first-born of the seed
Which from your blood began to grow;
In spite of tyranny's dread days
They bloom in glory to God's praise.

[Ā'răm] - exalted.
  1. A son of Shem (Gen. 10:22, 23; 1 Chron. 1:17).
  2. Son of Kemuel, Abraham's nephew (Gen. 22:21).
  3. Son of Shamer, of the tribe of Asher (1 Chron. 7:34; Matt. 1:3, 4, Luke 3:33). Also the name used of the whole country of Syria (Num. 23:7), and of the hill country north of Canaan ( 1 Chron. 2:23).
November 14, 2011
Breaking the Will but Not the Spirit
Today's Truth
Submit yourselves, then, to God … (James 4:7, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Of all of the activities ten-year-old Miriam enjoyed, she loved riding her horse, Charlie, the best. He had a sleek chestnut mane, well-defined muscular legs, and a fierce strong will to match. Miriam felt powerful and self-assured when controlling this massive animal—except when he caught a glimpse of the barn. Whenever Miriam and Charlie returned from a jaunt in the woods, as soon as they got close enough for him to see the barn, he bolted homeward, forcing Miriam to hang on to the reins for dear life.
One day Miriam's riding instructor witnessed this strong-willed animal taking control of his master.
"Miriam!" she called out. "You cannot let that animal control you in that manner! Bring that horse back out of the barn this instant."
Dutifully, Miriam mounted Charlie and led him a distance away from the stalls.
"Now, when you turn around and Charlie sees the barn and begins to run toward it," the wiser, older woman instructed, "pull the reins all the way to the right. Do not let him go forward."
On cue, Miriam steered her horse toward the stalls. On cue, he bolted.
"Turn him! Turn him!" the instructor shouted.
Young Miriam pulled the reins to the right as hard as she could until the horse's head was inches away from touching his right shoulder. Charlie fought her with the force of a war horse. Round and round the horse and rider circled.
"Don't let go," the instructor shouted. "You must break his will!"
After ten long minutes, Charlie stopped circling, and Miriam stopped pulling him to the right. Miriam gently tapped his flanks, and he slowly walked toward the stable. She had broken his will, and he now obeyed his master's touch.
Have you ever felt that you are going in circles? Perhaps God is trying to break some old habit patterns in your life to help you become more adept at sensing His gentle nudges and tender tugging. Perhaps He is trying to steer you in the different direction other than bolting to the familiar. It's an amazing ride when you yield your will to the Master and travel the path He leads.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, so many times I see myself in Miriam's horse. I bolt to what is familiar rather than submit to You. Help me to follow Your lead, submit to Your guidance, and walk at the pace You set.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Additional Scripture Reading:James 4:1-12
Is there an old habit that God is trying to break in your life? Are you running for the stalls out of habit or obeying your Master's lead?
How will we keep going in circles if we do not heed the Master's lead? (Think Israelites in the wilderness)
How do you keep from going in circles and repeating the same mistakes? Let's share ideas Your idea might be just what someone needs to hear!
More from the GirlfriendsDo you find yourself longing to hear God's voice – not as a once-in-a-lifetime experience but on a daily basis? If so, Sharon's new 15-Minute Devotional book, Listening to God Day-by-Day,will help you do just that. It is an expanded version of the smaller book, Extraordinary Moments with God. In it you will find 100 devotions to help you become a woman who detects God's still small voice in all of life. This is a warm, fun, tender look at recognizing some of the wonderful and unexpected ways God reaches out to us in the middle of our busy day. For more on today's topic of getting rid of old habit patterns, see Sharon's book Becoming Spiritually Beautiful.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
T. Suzanne Eller
November 14, 2011
Penciled in the Margins
T. Suzanne Eller
"God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away." Revelations 21:4 (AMP)
One day a friend commented on how "inked up" my Bible was while pointing to the underlined words, comments and prayers written beside scriptures.
"I don't write in my Bible in ink," she said. "I only write in pencil."
She explained that she had a tough childhood. While growing up, there were many people in her life that had let her down. Eventually she let herself down, and it hurt not only her, but her children and her marriage.
One day she picked up a Bible and started reading it. To her, many of the scriptures seemed harsh, and she assumed those that were hopeful were meant for someone else. As she read, she wrote down comments. She wrote down questions. She penciled in a picture of a broken heart next to one scripture.
Then, over time, those scriptures started to make sense. What once seemed harsh now seemed loving. "God wasn't trying to take anything away from me. He was trying to give me life," she said.
The more she read, the more she wrote in the margins of her Bible, but always in pencil. Question marks were erased and comments of gratefulness replaced them. Scriptures that once seemed written for others were claimed as her own. One day she erased the picture of the broken heart and penciled in an image of a new heart - one that was whole and beautiful.
In Revelation 21:4 we are assured that God "wipes" away old things. That word means "to erase." He is continually writing in the margins of our lives, erasing tears and writing in joy. Mourning or sadness ebbs away as He gently writes in hope for tomorrow. What we might see as permanent, God sees written in pencil.
Perhaps today you feel as if nothing can change. Are you willing to invite God into the margins of your life?
Your thought life.
Your hurts.
Your failures.
Your feelings.
When we do, change begins. Old things pass away and we are made new as God rewrites truth into those areas. We become more like Him, discovering God has so much more for us as He etches His love on our hearts and our lives.
Dear Lord, go deep. Shine Your light on the penciled margins of me. See those places where I am scarred. Touch those thoughts that keep me bound. Erase the old, and write in the new. I stand with my heart and life wide open. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Suzie's blog for a giveaway and to discover how to study the Bible in a fresh new way.
The Woman I Am Becoming by T. Suzanne Eller
A Confident Heart by Renee Swope
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:
Change often begins when we show God those places where we still doubt, where we hurt and where we desire new life. It's not that He doesn't see them already, but when you and I invite Him in, it is a huge step of faith!
Get alone with God. Be as honest as you can (Matthew 6:6 The Message). Show Him the raw places. Show Him your doubts. Invite Him in.
"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light." - Helen Keller
Power Verses:
Matthew 9:22, "Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well. At once the woman was made well." (NASB, 1995)
Isaiah 35:10, "Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness." (NLT)
© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Skills: Problem Solving

One way in which individuals prove their leadership ability is by using their problem-solving skills. Nehemiah certainly demonstrated his capability in that way. While the walls of Jerusalem were rapidly taking shape, Nehemiah's enemies tried to sidetrack him from the project with a number of different strategies. First, they tried to lure him out of Jerusalem by repeatedly inviting him to a summit (vv. 1-4), but Nehemiah rejected their invitations and focused his attention on the job at hand.
Next they accused Nehemiah of leading a revolt against King Artaxerxes-a potentially devastating lie (vv. 5-9). Nehemiah addressed this problem by confronting his enemies head-on. He exposed their lies and prayed for strength (v. 9).
Finally, Nehemiah's enemies tried to intimidate him into violating the law of God by urging him to seek refuge in the temple (vv. 10-14). Nehemiah realized that their ultimate motive was to discredit him as a godly leader. But he solved the problem by obeying God and seeking his strength. As a leader you'll face problems. They can't be avoided. But if you follow Nehemiah's model and are careful to (1) retain your focus, (2) confront any false accusations against you immediately and with integrity, and (3) pray to God for strength and wisdom, you'll find, as Nehemiah did, that God is eager to help.
Who are the Sanballats, Tobiahs and Geshems in your life? No matter how powerful the opposition may seem, God is an invincible ally. How much more effective to ask God, the One who sees and knows all, for help than to try to formulate a solution on your own!
Problem Solving and Who God Is
The greatest example of problem solving in action can be found right in the pages of this Bible. God took the ultimate problem-the chaos and destruction wrought by human sin-and transformed it into the beauty of holiness. In this best of all stories, God made it possible for those who were previously his enemies to become his beloved children. Turn to Romans 1:1-3:31 to learn about God's marvelous solution to the thorniest problem ever known.
This Week's Verse to Memorize 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

"It is because of [God] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
Problem Solving and What I Do
Leaders must face and solve problems. Daniel provides us with a stunning example of problem solving ability, and Donald Schon gives us some practical advice on how to do it. Turn to Daniel 5:10-16 for today's reading.
Problem Solving and Who I Am
If God is the utmost problem-solver, what resources does he provide for his people to solve the problems they encounter? If he offers us resources that transcend our own, why are we generally disinclined to lay hold of them? Why do we typically attempt to solve our own problems without appealing for divine provision? Turn to Esther 3:1-5:8 to see how Mordecai and Esther responded to a problem that seemed insurmountable.
Problem Solving and How It Works
Exodus 32:1-35 delivers a wealth of information about problem solving and deserves careful study. Find out the two most important summary principles for problem solving from a great leader who solved great problems: Moses himself.

jesusexperimentpaddedhandbookleadership150Handbook to Leadership: Leadership in the Image of God
by Kenneth Boa
Buy the Handbook!
The Handbook to Leadership includes: 52-Week Leadership Guide, Topical Leadership Guide, Leadership Character Studies, and Books of the Bible Leadership Guide.


Interior Designs

Today's reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-9
"He seemed like such a nice boy." How many times have we seen the neighbors of a convicted criminal interviewed on TV, shaking their heads in disbelief that an outwardly nice person could hide such evil intentions? Outer appearance can deceive, but the heart reveals itself eventually.
God provides a master guidebook to redesigning our spirits: the Bible. He directs us to tie his Word on our hands as we would tie a cord around a curtain, to bind his commandments to our foreheads as solidly as we would hang a valuable painting, to write his promises on our hearts as carefully as we would follow a blueprint. This is the ultimate form of home improvement.
Redesign must begin with our hearts. That is why God commanded the Israelites to pass on his holy commands, decrees and laws to their children and to allow them to permeate their lives and thought processes. Even today, Jewish families often fasten a small box called a mezuzah, containing Scriptures from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 11:13-21, to the doorposts of their homes to remind them that because "the LORD is one" they should "faithfully obey the commands . . . to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul." Only God's Word can do the work of improving the lives of his people, generation to generation.
In Jesus' day, the Pharisees wore phylacteries, literally fastening Scripture to their foreheads. Some of the Pharisees wore their phylacteries pridefully to display how "religious" they were. Unfortunately, many failed to live out what the Scriptures inside their phylacteries said. Christ called them hypocrites. You may succeed in fooling the neighbors, but God is not deceived. He doesn't want his principles displayed outwardly if they don't impact us inwardly. When ingrained on our inmost being, his principles will change the way we think, act and live.
Would your neighbors be shocked to see inside your locked rooms? Would your own family? Perhaps you spend so much time on decorating your exterior that you've neglected what Teresa of Avila called your "interior castle," the cloistered rooms of your soul? Take the time to memorize Scripture, meditate on it and tell the children in your life about God. That kind of home improvement is eternal


  1. What disconnects your spirit from your outer facade?
  2. Who might God want you to "adopt" as a spiritual child so you can talk with them, teach them and train them to know and love him?
  3. How much time do you spend redecorating the inner rooms of your soul through prayer and Bible reading? How can you deepen and nurture your faith?
Deuteronomy 6:8-9Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Related Readings

NIV Women's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan

The New Women's Devotional Bible helps a new generation of Christian women apply God's Word to their lives.
NIV Devotions for Moms

Dinner Is Served!

Today's reading: 2 Samuel 9:1–9
Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 23:5–6; Ephesians 2:4–8
Once David was crowned king, he faced the decision of what to do about a longtime family feud between his house and the house of Saul. Although it was legally acceptable to avenge himself by killing all living relations of Saul, David chose to respond in kindness. He asked who was left of Saul’s household to whom he could show compassion.
Mephibosheth, a grandson of Saul and son of Jonathan, was crippled in both feet. He was brought to Jerusalem and invited to dine at the king’s table as one of the king’s own sons.
How greatly David’s kindness resembles the grace of God: freely given even though it was not deserved. And how greatly Mephibosheth resembles us. We too are cast off, separated from the King, hiding in the desert to conceal our errors.
Come in, all you little Mephibosheths. The table of God’s presence is waiting and dinner is served!

Today's reading is from the
Mom's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan

Mom, you don't have to go it alone! The Mom's Devotional Bible is a trusted source of wisdom to help you along the path of mothering.

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