Friday, November 22, 2013

Fri Nov 22nd Todays News

Piers Akerman is very upbeat in his assessment of the combined best efforts of the ABC and Fairfax to shred the relationship Australia enjoys with Indonesia. I'm glad Piers is well, he has had health problems recently. He always focuses on the issues at hand. The tragedy of some 1500 known deaths by drowning from ALP 'compassion' must not be ignored or repeated. But Indonesian legislators cannot ignore constituents who might punish them for not taking a hard line stance on alleged liberties. Australians should expect more from their dollars than the ABC delivers. Media Watch takes an incredible line on an ALP shadow minister having sex with a constituent that isn't his wife. They feel he should enjoy more anonymity for his private choices. Tellingly, said member already disagreed with the Media Watch position. 
The Media Watch stance on Reese, questions posted in Tim Blair's posts, raises questions about the media response into my issue regarding the death of school boy Hamidur Rahman. After I told Tripodi's office of media interest, they backed off. Apparently, it was enough for Tripodi to tell a story to have the public interest story squashed. The questions can be quite illustrative on a range of media issues, from reporting on Indonesia, through reporting on Global Warming. The implied corruption is worth examining through a royal commission. 
Bob Ellis predicts Mr Abbott will step down as PM before Christmas. UN climate delegates accused of enjoying themselves. Their enjoyment is reportedly public, not army regulation private. But we won't ever know for sure because of the assumed Media Watch position on the issue. Last November saw 2630 illegal arrivals on 43 boats. Under Liberals, now, we have some 200 on four boats. That means people smugglers have less profit and fewer people are drowning. This is viewed by Fairfax as a loss. 
Free speech means more than calling Obama a liar. It involves saying how Obama lied and giving him opportunity to fix his problems. We have free speech. Obama has failed to address his problems. We must not assume the Media Watch position and reward him for his lies, we must call him to account, or step aside. 

Happy birthday and many happy returns Alexander Meluskey and Sunny Sivieng. Born on the same day, across the years, along with

Tony Abbott responds to crisis in a mature way

Piers Akerman – Thursday, November 21, 2013 (8:31pm)

THE combined best efforts of the ABC and the Fairfax media to shred the critical relationship Australia enjoys with Indonesia appear to have failed.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 22, 2013 (6:57am)

review of events in Brisbane.



Tim Blair – Friday, November 22, 2013 (5:27am)

“Anybody who is getting in a lather about the salaries of the ABC’s biggest TV and radio stars needs to have a reality check,” writes Colin Vickery
To many people those salaries seem outrageous but the bottom line is that Sales, Phillips, Henderson, Jones and their ABC colleagues are getting a fraction of the money of their commercial television and radio counterparts. 
This comparison is meaningless. Commercial media personalities are privately funded. Sales, Phillips, Henderson, Jones and the rest of the ABC’s half-billion dollar annual wage drains are funded by taxpayers. Vickery continues: 
Film industry figure Pat Fiske made the point on Facebook with a picture of $2 million man Kyle Sandilands. The radio shock jock and Australia’s Got Talent judge was lined up against nine ABC TV and radio identities whose combined salaries met that mark. 
The picture Vickery describes was promoted this week by the Community and Public Sector Union’s ABC go-to gal, who sent this email to ABC-friendly types:


Nice that the union is on the ABC’s side. More from Vickery: 
Sandilands isn’t the only commercial identity to be making big bucks. In 2011, Larry Emdur signed a new deal with Channel 7, reportedly worth $800,000 per year – and he isn’t even in prime time. 
Irrelevant. None of Emdur’s money is from taxpayers. 
New Zealander Paul Henry earned a reported $1 million to front Ten’s dismal Breakfast which didn’t last the year. 
Irrelevant. None of Henry’s money was from taxpayers. 
If you believe the rumours, Today’s Lisa Wilkinson earns $600,000, Seven’s Sydney news anchor Chris Bath is on $900,000, David Koch pockets $1 million and Melissa Doyle was on $700,000 before having to take a $150,000 pay cut when she left Sunrise. 
Irrelevant. None of their money is from taxpayers. 
You would have to think that A Current Affair presenter Tracy Grimshaw is earning at least two to three times Sales’ salary. 
Irrelevant. None of Grimshaw’s money is from taxpayers. 
3AW breakfast radio presenter Ross Stevenson was said to be earning $1 million per year as far back as 2004. 
Irrelevant. None of Stevenson’s money was from taxpayers. 
That makes ABC radio presenters Virginia Trioli, on just under $236,000, and Jon Faine’s $285,000 look like very small beer indeed. 
Well, let’s just give everybody a quarter-mill from taxes every year. Small beer. No big deal. (Incidentally, Trioli hasn’t been a radio presenter for seven years or so.)


Tim Blair – Friday, November 22, 2013 (4:30am)

Former NSW Premier Nathan Rees stood down as Labor police spokesman this week after the Daily Telegraph revealed he’d been polling the electorate
Mr Rees, a former NSW premier, expressed his “deep regret” yesterday for having an affair with a constituent.
Mr Rees admitted the relationship with the single mother lasted for five months until March.
During the affair they had secret trysts in parks and his electoral office and exchanged hundreds of text messages. 
Game over for Rees. But now Media Watch weighs in
The ABC’s Media Watch programme has fired a series of questions at The Daily Telegraph attacking the credibility of the woman at the centre of the Nathan Rees sex scandal …
The woman is a 40-year-old single mother of two and a public housing tenant who had gained assistance from Mr Rees’ office with public housing when he asked his staff for her telephone number so he could start pursuing her.
Mr Rees then continued a relationship with the woman, including asking her for sex in his office, while he was promising to represent her on a police matter.
The exclusive story was broken by State Political editor Andrew Clennell, who has already received one apology from Media Watch.
Former host Jonathan Holmes was forced to apologise on air last year after the Australian Communications and Media Authority found the ABC show was in breach of its own code of practice by not providing Clennell a fair opportunity to respond to allegations.
Clearly having learnt from that experience, Media Watch fired its questions in on Thursday night – one day earlier than its customary late Friday afternoon email.
A spokesman for the Daily Telegraph said: “We have decided to run Media Watch’s latest questions in full because we had no faith that the ABC would itself provide a fair and balanced story.”
Media Watch asked:
1. Were you aware at the time of publication that this story had been rejected by two other media outlets?
2. Did that give you any concerns?
3. Why did you decide it was in the public interest to reveal what several commentators have described as a private matter?
4. Why did you not reveal the name of the woman involved, given that the credibility and completeness of her account may be at issue?
5. Were you concerned about this woman’s reported connection to people in the NSW ALP? 
These questions are stupid. Rees has already confessed his shame and stood down. There is no dispute from him over the events. Media Watch is a million-dollar tax-draining clown show.


Tim Blair – Friday, November 22, 2013 (4:16am)

Elderly Labor groupie and ABC favourite Bob Ellis predicts: 
It seems unlikely Tony Abbott will be Prime Minister by Christmas.
One of the reasons is his ignorance of Indonesian women. 


Tim Blair – Friday, November 22, 2013 (4:12am)

At pointless UN climate talks in Poland, the Australian delegation treated discussions with all the respect they deserved
“They wore T-shirts and gorged on snacks throughout the negotiation. That gives some indication of the manner they are behaving in,” said a spokeswoman for the Climate Action Network. 
T-shirts, you say? Snacks? Gorging? Gaia is offended. Then again, here’s footage from a previous UN climate conference in Cancun three years ago, when warmies from many nations were in full-on party mode:

(Via CL)


Tim Blair – Thursday, November 21, 2013 (7:51pm)

Following certain events in Parliament today, Australian leftists have all turned into Scott Tenorman.

But isn’t a private apology private? And if it’s not, should Abbott give one?

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (4:28pm)

I’m hearing Tony Abbott being attacked on Sky News - and by many Leftist critics elsewhere - for not privately apologising to the Indonesian President for our alleged spying on his phone.  (I presume his critics are slowly accepting that initial demands Abbott apologise publicly were against the national interest.)
Excuse me, but how do these critics know Abbott hasn’t rung Yudhoyono privately? 
And if these critics reply that a private apology would have been leaked, then they are back to where they started: demanding Abbott make what actually is a public apology. 

Abbott haters rule

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (4:22pm)

Good heavens. This from people who seemed fine with the Gillard Government’s attempts to cow and regulate the media:

When a decision was made, for whatever reason, to scale down the number of days each week The Conversation’s Michelle Grattan commented on Australia’s politics – [the ABC’s Radio National Breakfast] replaced her with Channel 10’s Paul Bongiorno. Mr Bongiorno has described himself as a left-liberal. Moreover, he is regarded by the Coalition as the most pro-Labor/Greens journalist in the commercial media part of the National Press Gallery in Canberra.
Discussing the Abbott government’s parliamentary tactics on RN Breakfast this morning – and those of Speaker Bronwyn Bishop – Bonge condemned the Coalition’s behaviour as “a brutal use of the numbers that smacked of, of, eh, more of dictatorship than of democratic argument”. Yeah, go on.

Even with Indonesia angry, the boats are slowing

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (3:00pm)

Not bad so far:

[Immigration Minister Scott Morrison] said last November there were 2630 asylum-seekers on 43 boats and so far this month there had been four boats carrying fewer than 200 people.

Obama’s mistake now comes to hurt Australia

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (10:33am)

Julia Gillard is one of many who make the wrong point about Barack Obama, who set not a good example but disastrous:

FORMER prime minister Julia Gillard has suggested Tony Abbott follow the example of US President Barack Obama
Gillard said it was not appropriate for her to comment on intelligence matters but she praised the way Mr Obama handled similar allegations of US phone taps on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“If he had been aware he wouldn’t have authorised it, and he could certainly say for the future that it wouldn’t happen again,” she told CNN.
“I think that that’s an appropriate response from Australia to Indonesia at this very difficult time.”
What so much commentary on the Left misses in quoting Obama’s response to Germany is how much damage Obama has actually caused by this breach of long-standing practice not to comment on intelligence operations.
Australia is now under pressure to follow Obama’s lead, meaning denying ourselves the right to try to track the calls of future Indonesian politicians. Once we do that, we’ll have set our own example, which will in turn be used to demand we don’t spy on many other targets in many other countries.
The end is obvious: massive restrictions on our ability to gather information. And many more Age articles attacking our spies for not predicting terrorist attacks or properly assessing the military capabilities of our enemies.
Can’t Abbott’s critics just drop their hatred for a second to think through our national interest? And can Abbott now resist the precedent Obama has so foolishly set - a precedent that seems one more retreat in the power of the West? 

The Age said our spies knew too little. Now it says they know too much

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (9:43am)

2002 - An Age article damns our intelligence agencies for not knowing more:
Australian intelligence received no advance warning of the Bali bombings, an inquiry exonerating the spy agencies has found… Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said the inquiry had only examined the narrow question of specific intelligence, not the broader questions about the government’s assessments and warnings of the emerging al Qaeda terrorist threat.
2003 - An Age article damns our intelligence agencies for not knowing more:

Militant Islam was there in Indonesia for all to see long before the Bali bombing. How could Australian security analysts miss it?
2004 - An Age article damns our intelligence agencies for not knowing more:
Report finds intelligence failure on Iraq…

Australia relied on thin and ambiguous intelligence information about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a wide-ranging inquiry into the intelligence community has found.
2004 - An Age article damns our intellegence agencies for not knowing more:

The report, by former intelligence chief Philip Flood, also says agencies failed to properly target Jemaah Islamiah’s terrorist activities in Asia, contributing to a lack of warning about the Bali bombings.
2004 - An Age editorial damns our intelligence agencies for not knowing more:
Australian intelligence agencies also underestimated the threat of radical Islamic groups in our region such as Jemaah Islamiah…
The problem facing intelligence agencies has two parts. The first is that the terrorist threat requires them to imagine scenarios that were unprecedented before September 11. Their failure then was one of imagination.
But now The Age criticises our intelligence agencies for trying to find out too much, and demands Tony Abbott guarantee they will never do so again:

On learning that the United States had covertly monitored calls on her mobile phone, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel last month phoned President Barack Obama and demanded a personal explanation. She did so because the friendship between their countries, cultivated over decades, is sufficiently robust to endure such ructions. Indeed, it must endure despite them.
In confronting Mr Obama, Dr Merkel armed herself. While she may not have got an apology per se, she elicited a response that effectively confirmed the surveillance and embarrassed the US. Mr Obama told Dr Merkel that the US ‘’is not and will not in the future’’ monitor her phone. Those words set a benchmark. If it emerges in the future that the US has again monitored a German leader’s personal communications, the trust between the allies - for now repaired - will have been breached. And it will be a grave rupture.
Australia is at the same point with Indonesia. It has not always been an easy relationship, but the two nations have enjoyed a closer and warmer friendship in the past decade than at any time previously, one that overcame even Indonesia’s bold admission in 2004 that it had spied on Australia. Revelations that Australian intelligence units monitored the phone contacts of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife, and his closest advisers, strikes at the heart of the friendship.

So why did Labor twice make him PM?

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (9:12am)

Graham Richardson on the man Labor twice made Prime Minister:

I have been a member of the ALP for 47 years and I have not known a more hated figure… He was without friends and allies and yet he chose to make even those who were willing to serve into bitter enemies. His abuse of staff members and underlings is the stuff of legend…
Rudd’s real legacy is a shattered party and a list of enemies that appears endless....
The lesson here is that you need more to lead Australia than intelligence and desire. You can’t inspire a nation if you can’t manage relationships with those in your cabinet and caucus. Furthermore, you must stand for something. In your words and deeds Australians need to see that you are not just there for the glory. They need to know you have a plan based on real convictions. Australians never saw that in Rudd because it wasn’t there.
Yet I repeat: Labor twice made Rudd prime minister and two month ago told us to keep him as prime minister for another three years.
Rudd was only as bad a leader as Labor let him be.  

This “diplomacy” confirms it: take the Australia Network off the ABC

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (8:57am)

ABC boss Mark Scott once claimed Labor should leave the ABC in charge of the Australia Network international television service, broadcasting into Indonesia and the rest of Asia, because the ABC was better at “diplomacy” than, say, News Corp:

[A] public broadcaster, like the ABC, gives us the best possible means – with Radio Australia and Australia Network – of representing Australia’s international interests through broadcasting…
It’s worth asking if the entrepreneurial talent, daring and risk that give you an edge in commercial media are also the right credentials for the world of public diplomacy....
I am confident that, when Australia’s reputation is at stake, international broadcasting by an energetic, independent public broadcaster owned by the Australian people, is the right way to continue.
And I am confident that the job of advancing Australia’s international interests is in not just the most efficient and effective, but the safest possible hands.
This, now, is what the ABC’s diplomacy has helped to achieve by publishing secret intelligence material revealing Australia once spied on the Indonesian president’s phone:

So it’s not surprising many people now argue the ABC should be stripped of the Australia Network, as was twice recommended by a tender committee - and twice controversially overruled by Labor in suspicious circumstances:

As Australians were warned about travelling to Indonesia and a large group of protesters burnt replicas of the Australian flag in Jakarta, Liberal senator Cory Bernardi yesterday called on the government to review the Australia Network contract.
“Given the ABC’s preparedness to publish stolen top-secret documents that impact upon our national security, one needs to question whether they are a suitable organisation to be operating an important diplomatic outreach,” he told The Australian…
Former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer threw his weight behind calls for a review of the contract.
And long-time ABC-watcher Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Institute ... said there were issues with the ABC’s decision to air the report claiming Australian intelligence agencies tapped the phones of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and senior colleagues.
“There are problems, particularly in the region, when to many people a government funded public broadcaster has a degree of government embedded in it even if, as we know in Australia, the government has no control over it whatsoever, people think it does,” he said. “The view within the ABC management appears to be despite the fact that it’s getting this special money to project Australia into the region is that it should behave like any other media institution that chooses to act in this way, that it should run stolen documents in the public sphere without any concern whatsoever of the consequences.”

If only that clown Abbott took the experts’ advice on Indonesia

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (8:32am)

Politics - federal

One thing is certain about this crisis with Indonesia: the Prime Minister is stuffing this up completely.
Why doesn’t he just take the advice of the many people who know better:

Abbott should say sorry but should not explain:
INDONESIA’S former intelligence chief says the diplomatic row with Australia can be resolved with an apology from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“Just apologise and ... forgive and forget,” Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono told the ABC.
Abbott should not say sorry but should explain:

FORMER prime minister Julia Gillard has suggested Tony Abbott follow the example of US President Barack Obama and provide Indonesia with an explanation of spying allegations. But she stopped short of saying the prime minister apologise for the actions of Australia’s electronic spy agency in 2009.
Abbott should say sorry and should explain:

An apology will not be enough to smooth the waters with Indonesia, the letter from the Indonesian president to Tony Abbott makes clear - only a full explanation of the extent of Australia’s spying and a signed agreement regulating future intelligence gathering will do that.

Abbott should not say sorry and should not explain:
SABRA LANE: Philip Flood is the former ambassador to Indonesia. He was the head of Foreign Affairs under John Howard and headed the Office of National Assessments…
PHILIP FLOOD: Look, I said to you it’s not appropriate to comment on the details of intelligence matters. I agree totally with the stand Mr Abbott’s taken.
Abbott should not say sorry, should not apologise and the rest of us should say get stuffed:

Posted by: Neil Mitchell
The Indonesians are bullies – illogical, threatening bullies… They are not interested in friendship. They seem at times interested in our dollars, but a friendship has to go both ways and, at the moment, it is all from us. That’s the end of me ever going to Indonesia… Tony Abbott has to tread carefully… But he has to stand up for this country, too. 

Shorten’s test: side with Fairfax or act for Australia

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (8:02am)

A critical moment of decision for Labor - to side with the Abbott haters of Fairfax and the ABC or act in the national interest. So Bill Shorten’s wobbles are a worry:
Labor appears torn between the temptation to score political points over the Prime Minister’s obvious difficulty and maintaining bipartisanship.
The strategy has confused some of Shorten’s senior colleagues amid fears that the crisis could backfire, particularly as the bugging took place under Kevin Rudd’s watch and Australia’s difficulties with Jakarta can be traced back to the then prime minister’s call to Yudhoyono, which sparked the Oceanic Viking asylum-seeker standoff in 2009, when a boatload of Sri Lankans refused to leave an Australian customs boat in Indonesia.
Shorten’s reference on Tuesday to a similar furore between the US and Germany was immediately seen as a call for Abbott to pick up the phone to Yudhoyono and apologise.
That afternoon, Shorten’s office was at pains to emphasise that Labor was in bipartisan agreement with the government and was not demanding an apology.
Labor needs to scrap two disastrous alliances - with the Greens and the Fairfax/ABC media Left. Those alliances led it to adopt suicidal policies, including the carbon tax, media restrictions and Budget-breaking spending splurges.
The rule of thumb should be simple: if the Greens want it, Labor should drop it. If the Age demands it, Labor should suspect it. If the ABC supports it, swinging voters probably don’t.

Another rule of thumb for Shorten: if Julia Gillard wants it, you probably don’t:

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has suggested Tony Abbott follow the example of US President Barack Obama and provide Indonesia with an explanation of spying allegations…
Ms Gillard said it was not appropriate for her to comment on intelligence matters but she praised the way Mr Obama handled similar allegations of US phone taps on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“If he had been aware he wouldn’t have authorised it, and he could certainly say for the future that it wouldn’t happen again,” she told CNN.

“I think that that’s an appropriate response from Australia to Indonesia at this very difficult time.”
I suspect Abbott behind the scenes is doing something like that. But to do it publicly? Really?
Consider this: the security secrets stolen by the traitor Edward Snowden are likely to include a lot, lot more about Australian spying in Asia. If Abbott responds to this leak by effectively acknowledging spying and guaranteeing to not do it again, what does he say in response to the next revelation, involving, say, China? And to the next? And next? And next?
If we were to respond each time as Gillard recommends, a strategic campaign of leaks of the material stolen by Snowden, now given asylum in Russia, could smash Australian prestige in Asia and defang our spying agencies. 

Australian spying bad, Indonesian spying good

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (7:11am)

Spare us the hypocrisy:
INDONESIA has strengthened its ability to spy on Australia and other neighbours this year by boosting its army’s intelligence unit and buying new eavesdropping equipment, despite claims by Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa that his country has no need to spy on foreign governments…
BIN now has more that 1800 employees and agents in more than 17 countries and, according to its former chief Abdullah Mahmud Hendropriyono, it “taps many countries”.
Amid fury in Indonesia about claims Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate bugged the phone of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and senior colleagues in 2009, Dr Natalegawa dismissed suggestions his country needed to spy on other governments.
“Nowadays, I would like to think that it is possible to be decent by not spying on the international stage,” he said on Monday…
He tweeted: “We don’t do it, we certainly should not be doing it among friends.”

You can be for free speech, yet criticise how the media speaks

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (6:15am)

Free speech, Media

Fairfax columnist Gay Alcorn takes an alarmingly simplistic view of free speech - that those of us who oppose increasing state power to determine what we may say cannot therefore criticise what some people do indeed say.
In this case Alcorn suggest I am a hypocrite for making the unarguable point that the Guardian and the ABC have damaged Australian interests by releasing secret and stolen intelligence material on how our spies monitored the phones of the Indonesian president, his wife and ministers:
It is one thing for former politicians such as Alexander Downer to turn on the ‘’left-wing’’ Guardian for ‘’shamelessly dribbl[ing] out this material to maximise the pain and embarrassment to the Western alliance’’.
It is another for journalists, particularly ones who are vociferous champions of a free press, to fall into line. ‘’The media, not Abbott, have now damaged our relationship with Indonesia by revealing news against the national interest about activities that were in the national interest,’’ wrote the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt.
What a preposterous argument by Alcorn.
To defend free speech does not mean you cannot criticise how others exercise it. The very opposite, if anything. With weaker legal restrictions on, say, racist insults there should be stronger social sanctions - criticism, debate, counter-arguments. It’s called manners, and when were conservatives ever against those? It’s just that I believe we are safer when manners are determined organically, by free people freely talking things over, than by an elite using the organs of the state to punish opinions they do not like and silence people they like even less.

In this case I have noted the damage done by the release of this stolen intelligence information - with Australians in greater danger, particularly in Indonesia, and more boat people likely to be are lured to their deaths at sea. Can Alcorn even deny it? Is she seriously arguing that because I want fewer restrictions on free speech, I’m restricted even from noticing this damage?
Just to avoid shocking Alcorn in future, here are some other forms of speech I would criticise, despite arguing for fewer laws to actually ban what we do say: threats to kill, bomb-making guides for DIY terrorists, child pornography, racist abuse, vile attacks on the children of public figures, lies and more. Heavens, I’d even criticise toxic ideologies and damaging myths.
I also reserve my right to criticise the release of information deliberately aimed at seriously harming the national interest for no identifiable gain. At the very least, I feel perfectly free to point out that damage and insist those who incited it bear some moral responsibility for it.

Alcorn should not act shocked by suggestions that the media actually has a choice not to publish damaging information. After all, the ABC itself said it chose not to publish some of the stolen intelligence on our spying which it deemed too damaging. The ABC’s Media Watch seems even to be praising media outlets which refused to publish information damaging to former NSW Premier Nathan Rees. ABC staff have tried to censor a program damaging to global warming extremists. And the ABC has for three years fought to keep secret other information it claims is damaging - what it pays its stars with our cash.
The argument is not as black and white as Alcorn pretends. It’s not about whether you are for free speech or against it. It is about whether the ABC, happy to self-censor so much, was too free this time to publish what could only hurt us.
Another crudely simplistic argument from another Fairfax columnist, Richard Ackland. who seems to think that criticising the leaking of some secret information means you are against the leaking of all:

In the past 20 years or so, journalism has been turned on its head. Many of my contemporaries in the game had thought it was their duty to publish the secrets of state, to enlighten the public as to what’s really going on.
It’s their duty to publish all secrets of state, Richard? Every single one?
The binary mind of a Leftist…
And note the deceit:

But now we find serried ranks of salaried writers believing it is their duty to cosy-up to and protect the government, particularly their preferred government, from any embarrassment.
No, the argument is not driven by a desire to protect “the government ... from any embarrassment” but Australia and Australians from real harm.
Indeed, the position is actually the mirror of what Ackland claims.  I actually accuse many in Fairfax and the ABC of using this stolen material simply to cause this conservative government embarrassment, and never mind the harm to Australia.
Check one of Ackland’s own tweets:

(By “SDY” Ackland actually means SBY - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.)
Case closed. 

Leftist media weakens: Obama’s lie goes from “misspoke” to “not the whole truth”

Andrew Bolt November 22 2013 (5:12am)

All right, Time still doesn’t call the “broken promise” for what it clearly is - a lie:

So the sign that the Obama presidency had reached a turning point came not when his poll numbers sank or his allies shuddered or the commentariat went hunting for the right degree of debacle to compare to the rollout of Obamacare.
It happened when he started apologizing. In triplicate. For not knowing what was going on in his own Administration. For failing to prevent his signature achievement from detonating in prime time. For not telling the whole truth when he promised people that Obamacare would not touch them without permission: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
But the time is gone when Leftist news outlets such as the New York Times could wave away the lie like this:

Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.
Or this:

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. 

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list sentiments are running high will do maximum damage to foreign relations with Australia and potentially risks Australian lives if security co-operation is halted.

Oh, well, whatever it takes to humiliate Abbott, right?>


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“Even if anyone pressured us, we will not give citizenship to those who are not qualified," presidential spokesperson Ye Htut said on Facebook. A spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, Nyan Win, also criticized the resolution: “Even the United Nations is interfering in Myanmar’s internal affairs,” he said.


Sarah Palin
Here’s yet another example of why I wrote “Good Tidings and Great Joy.” A national humanist organization (read: Angry Atheists Armed with an Attorney – with a Scrooge Complex!) threatened to sue a school because students participated in Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse’s "Operation Christmas Child," a beautiful program that distributes gifts for children in need. (My family has been honored to work in this worthy cause with the Grahams, including their mission’s work in Haiti). It’s appalling that ANYONE would be so cold hearted as to object to such a merciful program that gives Christmas gifts to poor kids. But this is what we’re up against, friends! Thank goodness good folks in Colorado wouldn’t back down to this bullying tactic aimed at small schools that don’t have enough financial resources for defense in a legal battle. Parents and students creatively defied the atheist Scrooges by holding their Operation Christmas Child gift box collection just right outside on a public sidewalk outside school grounds where their rights were protected. Go Colorado! Scrooges: put that in your pipe...

Here’s the article about this:


Which of the eleven Doctors are you?

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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
What does it take to grow and become spiritually mature?
Growth is development or improvement toward a goal called "maturity" (or, in the Bible, "perfection"). When one is "born again" as a child of God, he is spiritually immatured. As time passes, he should develop the qualities or abilities which the Bible says characterize the maturity. Many Scriptures describe the need to grow and mature spiritually:Ephesians 4:14,15 - Be no longer children, but grow up in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 - but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2 Thessalonians 1:3 - The Thessalonians grew exceedingly in faith.

Many problems result when members fail to grow: some go back to the world, others cause strife because of ignorance or become stumblingblocks because of irregular attendance, worldliness, or indifference.The purpose of this lesson is to study the steps each Christian should take to grow spiritually.Just as a baby needs to do certain things to grow physically, so Christians need certain kinds of activities to grow spiritually. When members don't grow, it is because they lack one or more of these.I urge you today to study the Bible,for all you need to grow are there in the Scripture.God bless you.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11, NIV)
When our goals and dreams start to frustrate us, and we lose our peace and we’re not enjoying life, that’s a sure sign that we’re holding on too tightly. What’s the solution? You’ve got to release it. Freedom comes when you say, “God, I’m turning it all over to You. You know my desires, and You know what’s best for me. I’m choosing to trust You and Your timing.”

When we learn to be content whatever the circumstances, the power of the enemy is broken. It takes away his ability to frustrate us. Not only that, but by our actions we are showing our faith in God. When you choose to trust in His timing, you can live in peace, you can live in joy, and you can rest in Him.God bless you.
Heavenly Father,I thank You for making a way where there seems to be no way. I choose to trust You, and I believe that all things are possible! Show me Your power today. Work through me to encourage those around me to trust You more in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jesus Said,All Things Are Possible.
Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26 NIV)

Are you facing something today that seems impossible? With man it may be, but with God, ALL things are possible. If you seem to be in an impossible situation, get “with God!" Sometimes it’s so easy to focus on our problems and try to solve them in our own strength. But remember that the battle belongs to the Lord. He has a plan for your victory. He has a plan to give you a way out. He is making the things that seem impossible, possible. You can trust Him today. The Bible says that He has plans for your good, not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Start believing and confessing today.God bless you.===

Matt Granz
Just watched the chase scene from Bullitt for the umpteenth billionth time in my life, and I have to say it's still the greatest car chase scene ever made... even with the insane route through SF and the way the cars are endlessly shifting gears, it is still the best. An added bonus now that it's so old, is seeing the city as it once was and all the old cars... too cool!


Pastor Rick Warren
Leaders: Your charisma may attract new staff but only your character will keep them loyal for 20 years. Charisma fades but character lasts.











lemongrass marinade for chicken. For this particular batch of 4kg of chicken I used 3 sticks of lemongrass, finely chopped, 10 pairs of kaffir lime leaves, 3 big cloves of garlic & half a teaspoon of turmeric. That all then goes into a food processor to finely chop even more. Then when its added to the chicken I add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 2 tablespoon of salt & massage it into the chicken. You can lessen the salt & use oyster sauce & msg, but I chose not to, to keep with a gluten free, preservative free, allergy free recipe
"Of course, journalists are permitted to produce pure poppycock if the media outlet they are associated with has no objection to publishing it, or to leading its readers astray. 

So the claptrap that Friedman inflicts on his readers is not really a valid reason for his dismissal by the NYT – which has given ample indication that not only does it have no objection to leading its readers astray, but when it comes to Israel, it has a strong interest in doing so.

With stunning gall, he writes: “Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and without tough economic sanctions – sanctions that President Obama engineered.... Iran would not be at the negotiating table.”

Sanctions that Obama engineered? Really? One can only wonder whether Friedman is counting on his readers’ total ignorance or total amnesia. Or whether he is suffering from them himself.

In fact the Obama administration was one of the greatest obstacles to the sanctions that brought the Iranians to the table, virtually coerced to do so by pressure from Congress (and even some Europeans)." - Martin Sherman


Dr. Kedar's knowledge of Arabic allows him to understand the nuances of what the Palestinians are actually saying. We would say these people speak with 'forked tongue.'

Have you seen the Art that is coming out of Judea & Samaria?



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About Boutique Katom;
Boutique Katom showcases and sells unique works of art created by artists from Judea & Samaria. The Boutique is an extension of a "buy local" campaign (Dapei Katom; which promotes more than 2000 businesses from Judea & Samaria. Revenue from the Boutique is reinvested into this local campaign so when one from Miami purchases a painting from Shilo, a cafe in Efrat benefits.
This online store, the brainchild of Gedaliah and Elisheva Blum, is where you can buy superb works of art from Jewish artists residing in Judea & Samaria. The motto of Boutique Katom is, “Bring Yesha into your home.”
“Yesha,” is the acronym for Yehuda and Shomron (Judea and Samaria).
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Donations are great and essential, but this, we are not asking. Instead, your purchase provides the same results. So take a bit of Yesha into Your Home while supporting our communities.
Boutique Katom; Bringing Yesha into your Home
The 'United with Israel' family is proud of the young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives each day to provide security for the citizens of Israel.
As we have done the past 2 years, we're running a campaign to provide Israeli soldiers who are stationed outside in the cold with 'WARM WINTER' care packages.
Unfortunately, the IDF does not provide winter gear such as fleece jackets, neck warmers and gloves to the soldiers. While some families do provide these items, many soldiers including thousands of Israel's 'lone soldiers' do not have family in Israel to help. They are alone.
Click below to send your gift to Israeli Soldiers:
On Thursday evening November 28, 2013, the second night of Chanukah (Thanksgiving Day in the USA), we have organized a special Chanukah Party in honor of the soldiers at an IDF base near Shechem.
The soldiers on this base are stationed in one of the most dangerous areas in all of Israel. Shechem, an important biblical city, has become a hotbed of 'nationalistic' fervor and a breeding ground of Palestinian violence and terror.
These soldiers are from the Givati Brigade, a superior fighting and counter-terrorism intelligence unit. They are outside most of the day and get very cold in the winter, just like we do!
At the party, they will be presented with warm winter care packages and personal letters from admirers like YOU. This makes the soldiers very happy!
Send your Warm Winter Gift and personal note:
Learn more about the party in Shechem and watch a video of last year's amazing party at a base right next to the Gaza border. You can watch this year's party LIVE from Shechem!
Click here -->
We feel privileged to thank the brave young men and women of the IDF who risk their lives every day to protect and defend the People of Israel. The soldiers are truly touched by your thinking of them. It means so much to them!
This Chanukah, and Thanksgiving, bring BLESSING and JOY to Israeli Soldiers by saying... THANK YOU!
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strength to tell
Wow! They testified against Adolf Eichmann 50 years ago, now they are inspiring at risk youth in Jerusalem!
Get tickets to the movie premiere in New York on Tuesday November 26th at 6PM. Click here for tickets.
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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.
Jamie - Bar
Don't miss this best seller! 
Click here to purchase this special gift.
This gripping page-turner takes historical fiction to a new level as it explores the life of one of the most significant and enigmatic leaders in world history: Herod the Great. From the corridors of power in Jerusalem and Rome to the farms and fields of the simple folk trying to survive in turbulent times, you will get a real sense of time and place from one of the most important chapters in hostory. You will also meet all the most significan characters form that time, including the Caesars, Jerusalem's High Priest and Sages, Anthony and Cleopatra, and more. But behind it all is Herod. Herod the proud. Herod the builder. Herod the muderer. Herod the Roman puppet. Herod the schemer. Herod the Great.
donate_now_narrow, run by 12Tribe Films, is developing the next generation of Israel activists using online video and social networking.
Join our mission - Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help us grow our network to reach hundreds of thousands of people to make a difference for Israel.
HonestReporting's Israel Daily News Stream: Everything You Need to Know About Media Coverage of Israel and the MidEast

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Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for November 21st. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Arne Duncan’s war on women and children

Just when you thought the Obama administration couldn’t antagonize America any further, along comes Education Secretary Arne Duncan...

Obama says 100 million have enrolled in Obamacare while Biden angles to pin blame for the disaster on God

First off, President Obama had a call Monday to discuss why was rolled out with square wheels and broken axles. Fittingly enough, the call was glitch-plagued...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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That's the best he's got? He's losing his edge.
November 22Alphabet Day in Albania (1908)
Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office of the President of the United States




Holidays and observances[edit]

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—” 1 Corinthians 1:4-5 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Grieve not the Holy Spirit."
Ephesians 4:30
All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Moreover, as all blessings thus flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act, apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed be sown in you, yet it lies dormant except he worketh in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Do you desire to speak for Jesus--how can you unless the Holy Ghost touch your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas! what dull work it is unless the Spirit maketh intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and ardour for the Master's cause? You cannot without the Spirit--"Without me ye can do nothing." O branch of the vine, thou canst have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, thou hast no life within thee apart from the life which God gives thee through his Spirit! Then let us not grieve him or provoke him to anger by our sin. Let us not quench him in one of his faintest motions in our soul; let us foster every suggestion, and be ready to obey every prompting. If the Holy Spirit be indeed so mighty, let us attempt nothing without him; let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction, without imploring his blessing. Let us do him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from him, and then depending alone upon him, having this for our prayer, "Open thou my heart and my whole being to thine incoming, and uphold me with thy free Spirit when I shall have received that Spirit in my inward parts."


"Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him."
John 12:2
He is to be envied. It was well to be Martha and serve, but better to be Lazarus and commune. There are times for each purpose, and each is comely in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To sit with Jesus, to hear his words, to mark his acts, and receive his smiles, was such a favour as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels. When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in his banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them.
He is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if Lazarus had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would have been ungrateful indeed. We too were once dead, yea, and like Lazarus stinking in the grave of sin; Jesus raised us, and by his life we live--can we be content to live at a distance from him? Do we omit to remember him at his table, where he deigns to feast with his brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behoves us to repent, and do as he has bidden us, for his least wish should be law to us. To have lived without constant intercourse with one of whom the Jews said, "Behold how he loved him," would have been disgraceful to Lazarus; is it excusable in us whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love? To have been cold to him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us over whom the Saviour has not only wept, but bled? Come, brethren, who read this portion, let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and ask for his Spirit that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with him, and henceforth sit at the table with him.

Today's reading: Ezekiel 16-17, James 3 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 16-17

Jerusalem as an Adulterous Wife
1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her detestable practices 3 and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Jerusalem: Your ancestry and birth were in the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 On the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to make you clean, nor were you rubbed with salt or wrapped in cloths. 5 No one looked on you with pity or had compassion enough to do any of these things for you. Rather, you were thrown out into the open field, for on the day you were born you were despised.
6 “‘Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, “Live!”

Today's New Testament reading: James 3

Taming the Tongue
1 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell....
Melchisedec, Melchizedek[Mĕlchĭs'e dĕc, Mĕl chĭz'e dĕk]—king of righteousness or justiceThe priest and king of Salem, who met Abraham and blessed him (Gen. 14:18Ps. 110:4Heb. 5:6106:207:1-21). His pedigree is not recorded ( Ezra 2:59,62).

The Man Who Prefigured Christ’s Priesthood

Although a mysterious figure, Melchisedec is yet a figure of great importance. His biography is short. He comes before us in history (Gen. 14); in prophecy (Ps. 110); in doctrine (Heb. 7), and prefigures Christ’s priesthood. He is King of Righteousness, and King of Peace—cause and effect. Christ alone can bring us peace since He is our righteousness (Isa. 32:17 ). In a book consisting of genealogies, Melchisedec has no record of father, mother, birth or death. Such silence is part of the divine plan to make him typify more strikingly the mystery of Christ’s birth and the eternity of His priesthood.
The priesthood of this mysterious man was not based on what he was, or on any inherited right. Christ was without father on earth as to His humanity, and without mother as to His deity. He was the only-begotten of the Father, and without pedigree as to His priesthood. The greatness of Melchisedec is seen in that Abraham gave him tithes, and was blessed of him. Christ being greater, deserves and demands our all.
In Christ we have an unchallengeable priesthood, for He was made Priest by the solemnity of a divine oath. His is also an uninterrupted priesthood, for death cannot overtake Him. His priesthood is likewise nontransferable—it cannot be delegated to anyone on earth. Christ, like Melchisedec, had in His office as Priest, no ancestor, no associate, no descendant. With the Aaronic priesthood it was different.
Tradition identifies Melchisedec as Shem, the son of Noah (Gen. 11:11), or as Philitis, the builder of the great Pyramid of Egypt.


The Woman Who Fell Out With Her Friend
Scripture References - Philippians 4:2(see Acts 16:13-1517:12)
Name Meaning - Euodias is actually a man's name. Euodia is its right form here ( Philippians 4:2rv). Euodias means "prosperous journey" - Euodia, "fragrant." Wilkinson has the note, "Euodia is 'a good journey,' and was used in the colloquial Attic Greek as the French use the expression bon voyage." Euodia is coupled with another female, Syntyche, and both may have been among the women who resorted to prayer at the river bank (Acts 16:13-15), and among the honorable women who believed ( Acts 17:12). Scripture is silent on the genealogy and family association of these two women who, after their conversion became colaborers with Paul in the Gospel (Philippians 4:3). Belonging to a class bespeaking prosperity they doubtless ministered unto Paul of their substances.
At Philippi women were the first hearers of the Gospel and Lydia the first convert. If Euodias and Syntyche were also brought to the Lord there, they naturally took a leading part in teaching the Gospel to other women in a private sphere of labor once the Church had been formed there (1 Timothy 2:1112).
When Paul exhorted these two prominent workers to "be of the same mind in the Lord," he implied that they had been previously at variance. What caused the breach between these two deaconesses in the Philippian Church we are not told. Perhaps one had a more dominant personality than the other and received more attention. Whatever the dispute was, it became serious and hindered the work of the Lord, so Paul besought the two women to give up their differences and live at peace in the Lord. The lack of harmony between Euodias and Syntyche disturbed the Apostle, so he urged a reconciliation, for as those professing to be redeemed their whole life should be lived in peace and in an endeavor to please Him who had saved them.
A humorist has suggested that because of the strife between these sisters in Christ they should have been calledOdiousand Soon-touchy . It was sad that there was this difference of opinion, and more tragic still that divisions have kept Christians apart all down the ages. "How can two walk together except they be agreed?" is an old adage we have lost sight of. We like to believe that Paul did not plead in vain, and that Euodias and Syntyche were completely reconciled and went on unitedly to serve the God of peace. Is there any need of such a reconciliation in your life as a Christian? If so, for the sake of your own peace of heart and your influence in the world, go out and put wrong things right.
November 21, 2011
Grandma's Inheritance
Today's Truth
Older women...encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home ... (Titus 2:3-5, NASB).
Friend to Friend
As far as I can remember, my Grandma Edwards was always old. She didn't have many material possessions, but she had a sharp mind, a determined spirit, and buckets full of love. She was a small-framed woman who raised a family of five children during the depression by running a country general store and harvesting produce from her garden. Her waist-long, tightly braided hair wound around her head like a crown, and her teeth came out at night.
Another thing that always amazed me as a little girl was Grandma's undergarments. She wore knit baggy underwear that hung down to her knees and an equally attractive T-shirt to match. I never saw these undergarments anywhere except on Grandma's clothesline, so I decided there must be a special "Grandma store" that sold baggy underwear just for grandparents.
Grandma never drove a car, but she would ring up the grocery store and a box of supplies would magically appear on her back stoop. Grandma's house was filled with the aroma of strong coffee and fresh-baked biscuits. There was also the scent of salve, which was the cure-all for any ailment, and of snuff, which she would sneak between her cheek and gum when she thought I wasn't looking.
Each summer I would spend a week at Grandma's house. The highlight of our day was watching Perry Mason on her big black-and-white television. We drank Coca-Cola from cold glass bottles and ate peanut butter crackers. Grandma had a standing date with Perry each day. If someone "came a'callin' " during that time, they knew to pull up a chair, grab a Coke, and wait until the verdict was in before conversation could commence.
During my weeks with Grandma, there were no trips to fast-food restaurants or shopping sprees at the mall. That's just not what grandmas were for. So what did I do for seven days? I did what Grandma did (except dip snuff). I made biscuits, shelled lima beans, canned vegetables for the following winter, and learned how to sew.
When I was six years old, Grandma taught me how to turn a square piece of daisy-covered fabric into a gathered apron with a big bow in the back. At seven, we transformed a rectangular piece of floral cloth into a jumper with big ball buttons on the straps. At eight, we conquered the zipper.
Without realizing it, my grandmother was being a Titus 2 woman. "Older women...encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home." It was her inheritance to me.
Grandma didn't leave me a sum of money when she passed away, but she left something much more valuable. God used her to show me that leaving an inheritance to our children is so much more than money in the bank, well-invested mutual funds, and valuable heirlooms. It is leaving them memories of simple times together, showing them on how to become men and women of God, and leaving a legacy that causes them to "rise up and call you blessed."
What sort of legacy will you leave behind? The more we become women who listen to God, the more likely we will leave a yearning in others to do the same.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, help me to leave a godly heritage and invest love today that will multiply tomorrow. Help me to always remember what is important-not money in the bank, but God in the heart. Help me to be the type of woman that we read about in Titus 2 who exemplifies what You desire.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Can you think of an older woman who has invested in you? Consider writing her a note and telling her how she has blessed you.
How are you investing in the younger generation?
If you are reading this devotion, there is someone younger than youJ
Here is a way to honor someone who has been a Titus 2 woman for you. Log share how she has helped you understand what a godly woman looks like.
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.
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Samantha Reed
November 21, 2011
I Didn't Ask For This
Samantha Reed
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV 1984)
I didn't ask for this. Not this. This mercy ruthlessly strumming the strings of my soul. It's too much and unwanted, really.
Mercy has attempted to get in my fortressed heart for so long. Mercy ... so tender to accept; yet, too hard. A damaging force I haven't time to reckon with.
That's why, brick after brick, I construct a dam. Listening ceases - I slap mortar on. Empathy cinches up - I hold back the river of compassionate tears. Situations are avoided - another layer binds the unmovable bricks around my heart.
A tall dam goes round and round and round allowing little- to no- caring about others. Safely confined, I don't have to deal with the trouble or dig through pain or face the fears of others. It's easier this way.
Then a small pair of beat-up tennis shoes arrests me. Cracked leather pings a hole in my tough mortar. Untied frayed laces push one brick out. Once white soles, now stained brown, crack my stronghold.
Her shoes tucked shyly under the rocking chair in my guest room. Their tongues are still. Without a word, without an ounce of force, this broken down pair breaks through my hardened exterior.
And there, in my guest room, Jesus invites me to be His guest. Beckons my unreliable heart into this ancient exhortation:
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
My dam crumbles; releases a flood of pain within. Nearly unbearable else for His grace of walking with me, holding me up. I'm washed with salty tears, empathizing finally with the loss from destruction that pain has wrecked in her life.
His gentle words remind me He's longed for me to grasp this. To take His hand and see these shoes. The heart behind them. The pain and shame and grief and brutal losses. Her trembling desperate hope that has walked in these shoes.
How He's longed for me to walk a mile in them. Love their story. Love her. Love mercy.
This pain doubles me over. How could I be so cold for so long? Distanced and blind to not see ... really see ... the pain around me? My clinched heart opens (still reluctantly, mind you. It's a scary thing to invite mercy in) to love.
I didn't ask for mercy, but mercy asked for me. For my heart, my ways, my life. Strong-arming mercy for long times was my way; an acceptable thing as it wasn't my number one "spiritual gift." But that which the Lord loves, my soul is created to love. Through Him, for Him, walking with Him.
Dam destroyed, I don tattered sneakers; wade through crumbled bricks and mortar. Walking with my God, I pick my way gingerly through tangled habits of avoidance, retreat, disdain. Going back, looking for those in need of mercy; moving ahead, eyes peeled for those in need of mercy.
If we run into each other, please have mercy on me as I learn how to embrace another's pain; as He teaches me to love mercy.
Dear Lord, thank You for the mercy You showed me on the Cross. Every time I've been in need, in pain, in dire straights, Your mercy never fails. Please teach me to love mercy and walk humbly with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Could today be the day you fall in love with mercy as you fall in love with a child from Compassion International?Sponsor a child today. You won't regret it!
Samantha shares about Michelle and Diego, her sponsored Compassion International children, and her trip to El Salvador here. Please hop over to read more and enter to win The Cause Within You by Matthew Barnett.
Application Steps:
Do you disregard and avoid mercy? Memorize this verse and draw upon it when you do not want to be merciful. "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." Tim Keller
Power Verses:
Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." (NIV 1984)
© 2011 by Samantha Reed. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Personal Development: Values (Week 1)

Values are uncompromisable, undebatable truths that drive and direct behavior. They are motivational-they give us reasons why we do things; and they are restrictive-they place boundaries around behavior. Leadership literature is paying increased attention to the importance of consistent values to a leader's effectiveness over the long haul.
King David demonstrated value-driven behavior in Psalm 15. Notice that he said the person who enjoys the presence of God and lives a blameless life is the one who "speaks the truth from his heart" (vv. 1-2). Because this person values truth in his heart, his words express truth. Because he values kindness, he "does his neighbor no wrong" (v. 3). Because he values honesty, he "keeps his oath even when it hurts" (v. 4). Because he values justice, he "does not accept a bribe against the innocent" (v. 5).
Leaders who are value driven reap a great benefit from the Lord. David said they "will never be shaken." Regardless of what may happen around them, they can live with full confidence that the right principles have shaped their values and have guided their decisions. That confidence will give them emotional and spiritual stability. It will enable them to be leaders whom God can use for his glory.
As you reflect on this psalm, consider what values drove the psalmist's behavior. As you examine your own life, what values do you see as driving your behavior? What values would you like to have drive your behavior? Make it your goal, as you begin this two-week study on values, to more completely integrate godly values into your professional and personal life.
Values and Who God Is
God is accountable to no one, and there is no higher principle to which he must conform. He himself is the absolute of truth, beauty, goodness, love and justice. His perfect character is the essence of what the Bible calls "righteousness." In a universe without God, what we call "good" would have no ultimate referent. Turn to Habakkuk 1:13 for a view of this prophet's struggle with God's goodness.
This Week's Verse to Memorize LUKE 12:32-34

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Values and Who I Am
If we look to the world for our moral values, we will be confused by self-interest, social conditioning and situational ethics. The values of our culture are shallow and subjective, but the moral standards of Scripture reflect God's absolute and unchanging character. Turn to Exodus 20:1-17 for the clearest summary of God's values for his people.
Values and How They Work
Values are interesting to discuss in the abstract, but sometimes "values" get in the way of valuable decisions. Maintaining one's values can cost a leader dearly. So how do we decide what matters most when we're weighing the bottom-line costs against our bottom-line convictions? Jesus teaches us how in Matthew 6:19-21. Read it carefully-it is extremely valuable advice.
Values and What I Do
The Apostle Paul possessed tremendous resolve because he was able to link his desires with his values. Hackman and Johnson, in their book Leadership, provide us with guidance that will help us identify our values and then translate them into a compelling vision.

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.



The Garden of Gethsemane

Matthew 26:36-46 "Going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, 'My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will'" ( v. 39).
Following His prediction of His disciples' falling away (Matt. 26:30-35), Jesus comes with them to a "place called Gethsemane" (v. 36). They enter a garden there (John 18:1), probably a grove of olive trees since gethsemane means "oil press." Christ separates Himself from most of His disciples, going off to pray with the three men who are closest to him - Peter, James, and John (Matt. 26:37; see 10:217:1). Our Lord is about to enter His most difficult trial and, like all people, desires the support of good friends in His ordeal.
Jesus, of course, is the incarnate, second person of the Trinity. Still, He is also truly human and His humanness is shown through His prayer in Gethsemane. Knowing what is ahead, our Savior begins to experience an anguish so profound that it feels like it might kill Him (Matt. 26:38). This tells us that to feel sorrow is not necessarily wrong, for Jesus grieves and is yet without sin (1 Peter 2:22 ). His grief, in fact, helps prove the fact that God became incarnate. John Calvin writes, "Those who imagine that the Son of God was exempt from human passions do not truly and sincerely acknowledge him to be a man."
Nevertheless, Calvin also comments, Christ's humanity is different than ours in that His grief and weakness is never mixed with sin. Jesus is not questioning His Father's wisdom when He asks the cup (that is, God's wrath; see Jer. 25:15;Zech. 12:2 ) to pass from Him (Matt. 26:394244 ). Instead, while bowing to the Almighty's will, He admits honestly His dread of what is to come upon Him - divine affliction for the sins of His people. As Calvin says, Jesus trembles in Gethsemane "because he [has] before his eyes the dreadful tribunal of God, and the Judge himself armed with inconceivable vengeance; and because our sins, the load of which [is] laid upon him, [presses] him down with their enormous weight." Our prayers, Jesus shows us, may honestly confess the anguish we may feel when faced with the prospect of suffering for the Lord's name as long as we submit to God's will, no matter the pain that may come about.
Prayer is not on the radar of Jesus' three friends in Gethsemane. They prefer to sleep, so unprepared are they for what is to come (Matt. 26:404345).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Honestly presenting our hopes and fears before the Lord carries with it the danger that we might sin and become mad at Him when His will does not match ours. Nevertheless, we may humbly admit all that is weighing upon us as long as we, like Christ, do not rebel against God's purposes. Consider today how honest you are in prayer and strive to present your concerns honestly to the Lord, yet with submission to whatever His plan may be.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 

Never Too Old

Today's reading: Joshua 13:1–7
In the early 1900s, a desperate father prayed for his sick daughter: “God, spare her life and I’ll serve you with mine.” Miraculously, the girl recovered. The grateful father quit his job, packed his large family (along with a cow and some chickens) and moved to Texas for seminary. In his mid-30s, he became an evangelist who held tent revivals in Texas and Oklahoma.
For many years, the pastor faithfully preached the gospel. Even after reaching the century mark, he’d rise every day and don a three-piece suit. Despite shaky legs and cataract-clouded eyes, he’d wait for his son-in-law, married to the daughter who had nearly died so many years ago, to guide him downtown for coffee. A newcomer asked, “Why do you get so dressed up?” The aged pastor replied, “I never know when I’ll lead someone to the Lord. By the way, son, do you know Jesus?” Reverend A. F. Whitlock understood a simple truth: You’re never too old to serve God.
As a young man, Joshua was sent to spy out the promised land. Only he and Caleb believed the Israelites could conquer the enemies living there. So the people wandered 40 years until the exodus generation perished—save the two spies. Then, succeeding Moses, Joshua led Israel into the promised land. Though he was about 80, Joshua captained Israel to victory over six nations and 31 kings.
Fast-forward 20 years. Joshua 13:1 somewhat understates, “Joshua had grown old.” It is estimated he was around 100 years old. Joshua might have expected God to send him on vacation: go float atop the Dead Sea or fish in the Lake of Galilee. But God didn’t offer Joshua a retirement plan. Instead he said, “There are still very large areas of land to be taken over.” Joshua’s next task was to divide the land.
Maybe you think you’re too old to keep serving God. You’ve offered your tithes, taught Sunday school, led women’s ministry and sung in the choir. What’s left? There are always “lands” left to conquer. There are children to tell stories to, younger women who would love to hear about your history, sick people to visit, prayers to pray, people who have yet to hear the Good News. You’re never too old to tell others about God’s love.


  1. How has your age affected your ability to serve God (perhaps people don’t take you seriously because you’re younger or overlook you due to advanced age)?
  2. What areas has God placed before you to “conquer” (neighborhood, work, family, etc.)?
  3. Explain how Joshua’s story encourages you to continue serving God regardless of your age—young or old.
Joshua 13:1
When Joshua had grown old, the LORD said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.”

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.


The Garden of Gethsemane

Honestly presenting our hopes and fears before the Lord carries with it the danger that we might sin and become mad at Him when His will does not match ours. Nevertheless, we may humbly admit all that is weighing upon us as long as we, like Christ, do not rebel against God's purposes. Consider today how honest you are in prayer and strive to present your concerns honestly to the Lord, yet with submission to whatever His plan may be.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 
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