Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sun Nov 24th Todays News

Left wing media still doesn't know how to correctly position spying in the modern world. They feel it is something conservatives do.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Judith Olumba. Born on the same day, across the years, as

Spy saga legacy of Left’s flawed reign

Piers Akerman – Saturday, November 23, 2013 (11:40pm)

IF CNN’s international audience knew what a low priority Julia Gillard placed on national security, the network may not have given her a soapbox on which to offer unhelpful and irrelevant remarks about the alleged spying during ­Labor’s term in office.

Leaking ABC is awash with cash

Miranda Devine – Saturday, November 23, 2013 (11:39pm)

One of the funniest stories of the week was ABC chief Mark Scott’s apoplexy over the leaking of salaries of the taxpayer-funded broadcaster’s top staff, at the same time as he was defending the leak of top-secret intelligence which has trashed our relationship with Indonesia.
The salary leak has done nothing more than embarrass ABC staff hot shots such as Tony Jones and annoy less well-remunerated types such as Phillip Adams.
The intelligence leak, on the other hand, has harmed the national interest, jeopardised people-smuggling and anti-terrorism operations with Indonesia, and potentially put lives at risk.
The allegation that Australian spies tapped the phones of Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife in 2009 had no discernible public interest benefit.
The information was of dubious origin, having been stolen by fugitive former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, and provided to left-leaning British newspaper The Guardian.
The local online version of The Guardian shared its story with the ABC to benefit from the credibility and amplification provided by the national broadcaster.
It added nothing to the public store of knowledge, since allegations that Australia spied on Indonesia had already been published.
And yet Scott thought it was out of order for the taxpayer-funded salaries of ABC staff to see the light of day.
No. What was out of order was that the ABC recklessly provided cover for The Guardian on a story that has damaged Australia.
If the Abbott government can’t see that the ABC needs reining in now, it never will.
This is an opportunity for Malcolm Turnbull to shine.
The Communications Minister, a darling of the Q & A set, now can show conservative voters who mistrust him that he is willing to lose skin for the greater good.
The ABC’s agenda-driven journalism has become more flagrant and better funded under Labor, with extra millions doled out on top of a $1 billion annual budget, like sweeties to a favoured niece.
With a few honourable exceptions, its reporting and commentary is often distorted by a reflexive green-left mindset that uncritically pushes damaging climate alarmism, for instance, and has been persistently hostile to the Coalition approach to border protection.
No better demonstration that the ABC is out of control was its refusal to apologise for portraying conservative commentator Chris Kenny as a “dog-f … er”.
While other media organisations lay off staff, cut costs and fold altogether as revenue streams dry up, the ABC has been living high on the hog, as its leaked salaries and lavish infrastructure show.
The ABC commandeers the prestige of being the “national broadcaster” with none of the responsibilities that its special position should entail.
It cannot go on luxuriating in taxpayer largesse. A good start for Turnbull would be to strip the ABC of its ill-gotten $233 million contract to deliver the Australia Network international television service, which is supposed to enhance Australian “soft diplomacy” interests in the region.
It is a task the ABC deliberately subverted last week, and Senator Cory Bernardi and former foreign minister Alexander Downer made a convincing case for a review of the contract.

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Tim Blair – Sunday, November 24, 2013 (5:17am)

Recently privatised climate commissioner Tim Flannery turns his great scientific mind to matters automotive: 
Guess what the best-selling car in Norway is right now?
The fully electric Tesla S sedan. 
Yet again, Flannery is exaggerating. The Tesla S was the best-selling car in Norway’s tiny and incredibly distorted car market back in September, with a massive 616 sales boosted by pre-orders. But right now, Tesla is outsold in Norway by 21 other brands, as IBT reports: 
October’s figures are out, and last month’s volume tells a different story with 98 Model S deliveries, or 0.8 percent share of all passenger vehicle sales in the country that month, compared to 616 in September … 
Still, Flannery is delighted that “ordinary people” are buying the Tesla: 
The great news is that this is a revolution that ordinary people can drive. 
Only someone accustomed to receiving $180,000 from taxpayers for working just three days per week could consider Norway’s Tesla owners to be “ordinary”. The Tesla S – the “S” stands for “subsidies” – costs around $A120-130,000, or nearly double the average Australian wage. Rich Norwegians buy them because the government penalises other cars
Electric cars have been especially popular in Norway because of generous subsidies, free parking, government-provided re-charging stations, the right to use express lanes on highways and exemptions from tolls …
Cars with conventional engines of similar power would typically retail for $200,000 and above as taxes are levied on engine size and some car makers actually sell their vehicles with smaller engines in Norway than the rest of Europe to keep them affordable. 
So, all in all, it’s a perfectly ordinary situation. Meanwhile, in their own entertaining way, Teslas are wonderful contributors to global warming.

$70,000 PER BIRD

Tim Blair – Sunday, November 24, 2013 (5:13am)

US wind farmers fined $1 million for eagle burgers
Duke Energy Renewables agreed to the sum after pleading guilty to charges over the deaths of 14 eagles in the past three years at the Wyoming site.
It is the first time the Obama administration has taken action against a wind energy company in such a case ...
Duke Energy Renewables president Greg Wolf said the company “deeply regretted” the impact to golden eagles at two of its wind facilities, and had been working closely with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to “take proactive steps to correct the problem”.
These have included installing radar technology to help detect eagles in flight nearby and further curbing turbines at times of high eagle flight activity. 
(Via J.F. Beck)


Tim Blair – Sunday, November 24, 2013 (2:48am)

John F. Kennedy was a friend of Australia.


Tim Blair – Sunday, November 24, 2013 (2:47am)

tax would stop this carbon scofflaw: 
Another evening, another eerie glow atop Italy’s Mount Etna. The eruptions rocketing from volcanic craters atop Etna’s summit suffuse dark nights with a fiery aura as lava jets into the air …
Etna is one of the gassiest volcanoes on Earth, pumping out more carbon dioxide than any other volcano … 
(Via the Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D)


Tim Blair – Sunday, November 24, 2013 (2:12am)

Academic drama in California
In a letter sent to colleagues in the department after the sit-in, [Professor] Rust said students in the demonstration described grammar and spelling corrections he made on their dissertation proposals as a form of “micro-aggression.” 
The dispute is said to be caused by raaacism.

Plibersek seriously claims Rudd is the man to fix what he broke in Indonesia

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (2:17pm)

Is Tanya Plibersek insane? She really thinks the man who authorised the spying on Indonesia’s president is the one who could broker peace?

DEPUTY Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek says Kevin Rudd could play a part in easing diplomatic tensions with Indonesia
“Any senior Australian like Kevin Rudd, who as former prime minister and former foreign minister, if they’ve got personal relationships with senior Indonesians, it does no harm to be talking in that personal context to them,’’ she told ABC television.
Many on the Left are hailing Plibersek already as Labor’s new leader. If this is a good example of judgement, Labor is in deep, deep trouble.
Plibersek is not just brainless but mindlessly negative, criticising Abbott’s response to Indonesia without having a single suggestion on what he should have done instead:
BARRIE CASSIDY: How do you think Tony Abbott is handling the diplomatic crisis with Indonesia?
TANYA PLIBERSEK: Well, I don’t know that it has been a terrific performance when it comes to handling the diplomatic crisis… I don’t think really what he said to the Parliament has settled things down at all.
BARRIE CASSIDY: In what way was that inappropriate?
TANYA PLIBERSEK: Well, I’m certainly not in a position to say word for word what the Prime Minister or anyone else should be saying in these circumstances…

BARRIE CASSIDY: But where did he go wrong and what should he have said?
TANYA PLIBERSEK: Well Barrie, I’m not going to script a speech for the Prime Minister; I don’t think that would be appropriate at all…
BARRIE CASSIDY: But you’re critical of his performance in the Parliament without saying why?
TANYA PLIBERSEK: Well, like I say, Barrie, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to be scripting speeches for the Prime Minister, but I think that, on each occasion, there was an opportunity there to smooth things over, to settle things down; that’s not what happened on either occasion.

And who is running the Opposition? Shorten or Plibersek? Or is Shorten a two-faced hypocrite, pledging to support Tony Abbott but having Plibersek attack him on no grounds she can actually think of?

Last week Mr Shorten lent his support to the Government, saying: ”This is indeed a ‘Team Australia’ moment. We need to walk this road together.
Plibersek represents Labor at its worst. She’s a hater and someone who cannot deliver on Labor promises. 

Nothing easier than for discreet Abbott to blame Labor

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (7:14am)

The strange thing about Labor’s demand that Tony Abbott apologise for our spying on Indonesia is that nothing could be easier or more tempting for him than damning what Labor did, as Sam Maiden points out:

KEVIN Rudd was conspicuously absent from the furore over revelations Australia tapped the phone of Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono…
As prime minister at the time, Rudd was responsible for Australia’s Office of National Assessments which would have analysed the material… He even built a $14 million bunker adjacent to cabinet, similar to the White House’s “situation room”, where he could have secure communications with foreign officials and spy chiefs.
It remains entirely possible that he signed off on the SBY surveillance himself…
After running around before the election warning Konfrontasi with the Indonesians would ensue if Tony Abbott was elected prime minister and tried to turn back the boats it’s the former government’s phone taps that are causing the blow-up…
But it’s not hard to establish who may have been in the loop because there’s a clear protocol for signing off on such operations. It would have involved a combination of the prime minister, foreign minister, defence minister and attorney-general of the time… Which makes Julia Gillard’s intervention on Friday, when she offered Tony Abbott ­advice on how to resolve the troubles with Indonesia, curious. As deputy prime minister she would have sat on the ­National Security Committee of cabinet at the time of the ­alleged phone taps.
Does she propose to both sign off on the phone taps as a government and then provide public advice on CNN about how to clean up the mess in her new role as a roving international ambassador? How odd.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Save the planet! Mince eagles

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (6:00am)

How do green activists come up with schemes that scar the landscape and kill rare birds?
A MAJOR US power company has pleaded guilty to killing eagles and other birds at two wind farms and agreed to pay $1 million as part of the first enforcement of laws protecting birds against wind energy facilities…
Duke Energy ...  pleaded guilty to killing 14 eagles and 149 other birds at its Top of the World and Campbell Hill wind farms outside Casper, Wyoming…
“Wind energy is not green if it is killing hundreds of thousands of birds,” said George Fenwick, president of the American Bird Conservancy...
Er, no. It’s also not green if it doesn’t do anything measurable to stop global warming. 

Flannery’s fantastic green car

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (5:52am)

Tim Flannery - who said we’d never again get dam-filling rains and our cities could run dry by 2009 - now turns that genius to describe the car market:

Guess what the best-selling car in Norway is right now?
The fully electric Tesla S sedan.
Tim Blair fact checks and finds Flannery is as good at cars as he is the weather

The Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (5:32am)

On The Bolt Report on Channel 10 at 10am and 4.30pm…
The twitter feed.
The place the videos appear

Indonesia’s shame - and Rudd’s. Not ours - and Abbott’s

Andrew Bolt November 24 2013 (5:27am)

The tenor of the Fairfax Age story suggests the issue is Abbott’s shame rather than Indonesia’s disgrace. To illustrate my point, imagine how Fairfax would report a Daily Telegraph front page depicting Indonesia’s president so crudely:
Tony Abbott’s image in Indonesia has hit a new low with a front-page cartoon in a serious political newspaper depicting him as a peeping tom.
The middle-brow broadsheet, Rakyat Merdeka, whose title literally means The Freedom of the People, caricatured the Australian Prime Minister as prising open a door marked “Indonesia” to peep inside.
A caricature on the front page of an Indonesian newspaper depicts Abbott as a peeping tom, prising the door of Indonesia open with his hand down the front of his pants. He’s moaning: “Ssst! Oh My God Indo ... So Sexy”.

As he is shown to drool, sweat and masturbate, he is moaning, “Ssst! Oh My God Indo ... So Sexy”.

The cartoon suggests that Australia’s spying on the telephones of the President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife Ibu Ani Yudhoyono, and his intimate circle, gave some kind of prurient pleasure to a brutish, hairy-legged Australia.
Actually, we don’t have to imagine how the Age would report a similarly offensive cartoon here of the Indonesian President. Here it is on 2006:

AUSTRALIA is bracing for renewed tensions with Indonesia — already inflamed by the decision to grant protection to Papuan asylum seekers — after the publication of a cartoon showing a character resembling the Indonesian President as a copulating dog.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer yesterday sought to pre-empt a wider rift by distancing the Government from the cartoon, published in The Weekend Australian…
Bill Leak’s cartoon responds to one published in a Jakarta daily last week, which parodied Prime Minister John Howard and Mr Downer as copulating dingoes, with the Prime Minister telling the Foreign Minister: “I want Papua!! Alex! Try to make it happen!”
That cartoon reflected widespread suspicion in Indonesia that Australia’s decision to grant protection visas to 42 Papuan asylum seekers reflects a secret plan to engineer West Papua’s separation from Indonesia.
While Mr Howard has shrugged off the Indonesian cartoon, Leak’s cartoon is likely to test Jakarta’s tolerance. Leak depicts a character resembling Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as a dog mounting a Papuan while saying: “Don’t take this the wrong way …” The caption reads: “No Offence Intended.”
In both cases the Age’s reaction is “what has Australia done wrong?”.  Or to be precise, “what have Australian conservatives done wrong?”.
And shouldn’t the man pictured masturbating be Kevin Rudd, whose government actually authorised the spying? 






November 24Feast day of Vietnamese Martyrs (Roman Catholicism)
Charles Darwin in 1854




Holidays and observances[edit]

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”Psalm 100:4-5 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Fellowship with him."
1 John 1:6
When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with him, that we were made one with him, and his interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in his love. What he loves we love. He loves the saints--so do we. He loves sinners--so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth's deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord--so do we. We have fellowship with him in his desires. He desires the glory of God--we also labour for the same. He desires that the saints may be with him where he is--we desire to be with him there too. He desires to drive out sin--behold we fight under his banner. He desires that his Father's name may be loved and adored by all his creatures--we pray daily, "Let thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven." We have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when he is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for his sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us. The disciple should not be above his Lord. In our measure we commune with him in his labours, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like his, is to do the will of him who hath sent us and to finish his work. We have also fellowship with Christ in his joys. We are happy in his happiness, we rejoice in his exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ's joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for his Church shall sit with him upon his throne, as his well-beloved bride and queen.


"Get thee up into the high mountain."
Isaiah 40:9
Each believer should be thirsting for God, for the living God, and longing to climb the hill of the Lord, and see him face to face. We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley when the summit of Tabor awaits us. My soul thirsteth to drink deep of the cup which is reserved for those who reach the mountain's brow, and bathe their brows in heaven. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem! Many saints are content to live like men in coal mines, who see not the sun; they eat dust like the serpent when they might taste the ambrosial meat of angels; they are content to wear the miner's garb when they might put on king's robes; tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial oil. Satisfied I am that many a believer pines in a dungeon when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and Lebanon. Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ, thy soul's Husband. Make him the source, the centre, and the circumference of all thy soul's range of delight. What enchants thee into such folly as to remain in a pit when thou mayst sit on a throne? Live not in the lowlands of bondage now that mountain liberty is conferred upon thee. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments, but press forward to things more sublime and heavenly. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!
"When wilt thou come unto me, Lord?
Oh come, my Lord most dear!
Come near, come nearer, nearer still,
I'm blest when thou art near."

Today's reading: Ezekiel 20-21, James 5 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 20-21

Rebellious Israel Purged
1 In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and they sat down in front of me.
2 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Have you come to inquire of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign LORD.’
4 “Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestors 5 and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the LORD your God.” 6 On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. 7 And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your God....”

Today's New Testament reading: James 5

Warning to Rich Oppressors
1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you....
Abiram [Ăbī'ram]—father is the exalted one.
  1. A son of Eliab, a Reubenitewho with others conspired against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and who perished with his fellow-conspirators (Num. 16:1-27;26:9).
  2. The first-born son of Hiel the Bethelite, who began to rebuild Jericho, but who came under the curse foretold by Joshua (Josh. 6:261 Kings 16:34).
November 23, 2011
Put a Lid on It
Today's Truth
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 ... (James 3:5, NIV).
Friend to Friend
From the time I could hold a crayon in my chubby little hand, I've enjoyed creating various works of art. For my family and friends, my annual endeavors usually found their way under the Christmas tree and into their hands. One year it was macramé hanging plant holders woven with wooden beads. Another it was a menagerie of decoupage wooden boxes. Then there were the years of framed cross-stitch, ceramic Nativity sets, and quilted pig and chicken pillows.
When I was 17, it was the year of the candle. Everyone from Grandma Edwards to my best girlfriends received praying hands candles. For weeks I slaved over a hot stove, stirring melted wax, meticulously centering the ten-inch wicks, and then slowly pouring the red, green, or yellow molten material into an inverted mold in the shape of praying hands. When the wax hardened, I burped the rubber mold and plopped the hands onto the counter. My kitchen looked like a prostheses laboratory with hands littering the counters.
I was just cooking up my last batch of wax when the doorbell rang. I was having so much fun that I had forgotten the time. I had a date at 7:30, and here I was in pink curlers and a paraffin-covered sweatshirt. I rushed through the kitchen, leaped over my dad, who had fallen asleep on the den floor in front of the television, and threw open the door.
"Hi, Jim. Come on in," I said, out of breath. "I'm not ready."
"So I noticed," he said with a grin.
"I was cooking candles and lost track of time."
"You were what?"
"Oh, never mind. Just come on in and have a seat on the couch. I'll be ready in a minute."
I dashed to my room to change clothes, take out the curlers and run a brush through my hair, swipe mascara through my lashes, and place a hint of gloss on my lips. Jim sat uncomfortably on the sofa, listening to my dad snore and Jackie Gleason yell at Ralph Kramden. After about 15 minutes Jim smelled something burning from the kitchen. He didn't want to call me for fear of waking up my dad. (Teenage boys don't like to wake up their date's dad if they can help it.) Instead, he tiptoed into the kitchen and discovered a pot on the stove with flames shooting up about 18 inches in the air.
Sleeping dad or no sleeping dad, Jim yelled, "Sharon! Whatever you were cooking is on fire!"
"Oh my goodness!" I exclaimed. "I forgot to turn off the stove!"
Just as I burst into the kitchen, Jim threw a cup of water into the flaming wax. Rather than extinguish the flames, the fire exploded upward. The flames shot up the wall, across the ceiling, and down the other side of the room. Our screams alerted my father, who woke to see his baby girl standing in a room surrounded by flames. With the agility of Superman, Dad sprang to his feet, ran to the kitchen faster than a speeding bullet, grabbed the lid of the pot, and clamped it down on the source of the flames. Just as quickly as the fire had erupted, it seemed to recede back into the pot like a genie returning to his bottle.
This all happened in a matter of seconds. We stood in the middle of the room like three stunned deer. I never did tell my dad that it was Jim who threw the water on the burning wax. Teenage boys have two strikes against them just by walking through the doors to pick up a man's baby girl.
After the shock of the incident wore off, I had time to reflect on the speed at which the flames blazed around the room, the feeling of fire licking against my skin, the terrifying sound the fire made. It made me think about my words and how easily they can explode and singe those around me. I saw and understood the destructive power of our words and the speed at which that destruction can spread. But you know what else I learned? I learned just how easy it is to stop the blaze...put a lid on it. As soon as my father placed a lid on the pot and removed the flames' source of oxygen, the fire went out.
As we listen to God day by day, I pray we will sense His leading to put a lid on our destructive words. Let's pray we will be quick to listen, slow to speak, and quick to obey when God warns us to keep fire-sparking words from slipping past our lips.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips. May nothing escape my mouth today that is not pleasing to You.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read James 3:1-18 and note what you learn about our words.

Has there been a time you wish you had "put a lid on it" rather than say something you said. (I know that is a silly question. Who hasn't?)
Today, sit a pot lid out on your kitchen counter as a reminder to put a lid on your words. You might want to leave it out for more than a few days.
If you'll agree to leave a pot lid out on your kitchen counter for a few days, let me know I'd love to know if it made a difference.
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 days. And if you would like to learn more about how to control your words, then see Sharon's best-selling book and Bible study, The Power of a Woman's Words.
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
Rachel Olsen
November 23, 2011
My Thanksgiving
Rachel Olsen
"Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. For His lovingkindness is everlasting." 1 Chronicles 16:34(NASB)
This Thanksgiving morning I will wake up thankful. Not because my life is perfect and I have everything I could want or need, but because I've decided to take the time to count my blessings and give thanks to God.
• I'll be thankful my husband and I are off work today, and that we have work to return to.
• I'll be thankful my children are able to enjoy a day of play at home, and thankful they have days of learning ahead that will help shape them into who God intends them to be.
I'll go downstairs. As I pass my desk on my way to the kitchen, I'll select one of several Bibles on my shelf.
• I'll be thankful for the Word of God I am able to freely read, distribute and teach in this country.
Mostly likely, I'll do as I did last year and put on a CD of hymns sung by one of my friends.
• I'll be thankful for the various friends in my life - both far and near - who enrich me, challenge me, lend me their ear, pray for me and make me laugh. And I'll be especially grateful for the friendship of God.
• I'll also be thankful for the blessing of music and its ability to lift my mood, touch my heart, energize my body and connect my soul to an eternal God.
I'll turn the lights of my Christmas tree on - I like to have my tree up by Thanksgiving Day. The lights and ornaments will twinkle amidst the backdrop of an evergreen tree.
• I'll thank God for giving us some trees that stay green all year long despite the cold weather.
• I will thank Him for giving us the day and the night, and the stars that twinkle in the sky. I will also be grateful for the Light of the World and the eternal life that He brings, represented by the evergreens in our holiday decorations.
Soon it will be time to start cooking the Thanksgiving meal. In my home that will be turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy. Oh, and deviled eggs.
• I'll be thankful for God's provision of food - including being thankful for the farmers and ranchers, truckers and grocers, and for the kind family member who gives us a turkey and a box of sweet potatoes every year.
• I'll remember contributing to a local church's Thanksgiving ministry for those less fortunate, and I'll be thankful for the people who act as the hands and feet of Christ in ministry - they inspire me.
As I cook, I'll set aside any cans, plastic bags and cardboard boxes to put into our recycling bin.
• I'll be thankful for this beautiful planet teeming with life and flowing with water that God entrusted to humankind to steward. And I'll look forward to the day when I, like the writer of the book of Revelation, see a new earth recreated by God, free of Satan's influence.
More family members will join us and we will gather around my kitchen table to eat. We are no Norman Rockwell painting - our family has its struggles and issues just like the next family. But on this evening, we will set aside any differences as we laugh together, talk together, pray together and eat together.
• I'll be thankful for the bond of family - that there are people who know me fully, and love me anyway. And I'll be grateful for the family of God to which I am bonded through Christ.
After dinner we'll play cards or board games, or perhaps watch a movie. Then I'll say goodbye to our guests, tuck my children in bed, sit and reflect on the day. I will ask God to show me any blessings I missed or failed to count, because I'm convinced each one of us has more to be thankful for than we ever notice. Today, let's purpose to notice, and to be grateful.
Dear Lord, thank You for the blessings You have bestowed - help me notice them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Visit Rachel at her blog today and share with her something you are grateful for.
The Most Powerful Two-Word Prayer (DVD) by Lysa TerKeurst
Application Steps:
Pause to count your blessings today. A grateful heart can usher you into God's presence.
Stop by my blog and share something you are grateful for today. The ability to connect with others via the internet is one of the blessings on my list!
Perhaps I don't have family at home with me today, or much food to prepare, or a Christmas tree to gather by. But I have a godly purpose to fulfill in this earth, a world of beauty outside my door, and most importantly, I have eternal life and the friendship of God available. Do I Know Him?
Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 9:15, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (NASB)
© 2011 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105


Jesus on Trial

Matthew 26:57-63A "Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death" (v. 59).
In some ways Jesus can be seen as the victim of what is taking place during Passover week, yet we also get the sense that He is in control of all that is happening. For example, He has remained cool, calm, and collected during His stay in Jerusalem, teaching openly in the temple courts, unafraid of those who hate Him (Matt. 21:23-23:39). His enemies, however, behave as if they might suddenly lose their grip on events. They meet secretly to plot Jesus' death because they do not want to incite a riot ( 26:1-5), and they are similarly motivated to arrest Him in the dark (vv. 2047). This reveals their cowardice, not our Lord's guilt, which is the point ofMatthew 26:55 . If Jesus were guilty, the Sanhedrin would have no qualms about taking Him prisoner in broad daylight; His innocence and their fear of the people makes it necessary to seize Him at night.
Our Savior's trial is the greatest miscarriage of justice ever committed. Matthew makes this plain, stating that the council seeks "false testimony" (v. 59 ). Whatever they feel about their actions - and they likely believe themselves to be doing God's will - Caiaphas and his cohorts only want evidence against Jesus. They couldn't care less about the truth and are probably frustrated in their inability to build a case against Him (vv. 59-60a). Even as this chaos surrounds Him, our Lord remains in control, refusing to answer the false charges (vv. 62-63a ). This, John Calvin writes, fulfills His purposes. Christ is silent "not only because the objection [is] frivolous, but because, having been appointed to be a sacrifice, he [has] thrown aside all anxiety about defending himself."
Finally, the Sanhedrin charges Him based on His claim to be able to destroy the temple and rebuild it (v. 61). Even this testimony perverts our Lord's words; He said the temple of His body would be restored (that is, resurrected) should others crush Him ( John 2:18-22), not that He is about to destroy the temple building. Still, falsely placing this threat on Jesus' lips serves the Sanhedrin's intent. Desecrating sacred places in their day can be a capital crime, and Rome would want to avoid the public upheaval that would occur were Christ to carry out a threat that, unbeknownst to the Empire, He never made to begin with.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Zephaniah 3:5 assures us that the Lord is perfectly righteous and therefore incapable of any injustice. We must therefore, unlike the Sanhedrin in Jesus' day, learn to hate injustice and to do whatever we can to make sure that justice is done in our culture. Some of the ways this can be done is to refuse to give false testimony or listen to gossip, and to choose righteous leaders who will promote justice both in our churches and in our cultural institutions.
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. 


Jesus on Trial

Zephaniah 3:5 assures us that the Lord is perfectly righteous and therefore incapable of any injustice. We must therefore, unlike the Sanhedrin in Jesus' day, learn to hate injustice and to do whatever we can to make sure that justice is done in our culture. Some of the ways this can be done is to refuse to give false testimony or listen to gossip, and to choose righteous leaders who will promote justice both in our churches and in our cultural institutions.
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. 
Change a Life, Give a Bible - Muslim Converts Plead for Bibles
When a Muslim comes to faith in Jesus Christ, the one thing they plead for is a Bible.
And now we have been offered a $10,000 Challenge Grant to provide these desperately needed Bibles! But we needyour help to meet this challenge!
Sadly, Bibles are scarce in most Islamic countries where it's illegal to be a Christian. Which is why we have set a goal to deliver at least 4,000 Bibles to our suffering brothers and sisters in these countries over the next four months.
And now... if we meet this $10,000 Challenge Grant... we can meet this goal! But we need your help... which is why I'm asking you to give an online gift to Open Doors today.
Through your gift, you'll not only help meet the challenge... but help deliver Bibles to Muslim converts who risk their lives every day to follow Christ. You'll be giving strength, hope, and encouragement to those who so desperately need it!
So thank you for your gift. And thank you for standing with those who are suffering the most for their faith.
Carl A. Moeller Signature

ECFA A higher standard. A higher purpose.
Picture of girlJust $5 will send one desperately needed Bible
to a Muslim convert.
Send a Bible!
"Fifty years of serving and strengthening persecuted Christians worldwide - that is the legacy of Open Doors.
An important part of that legacy has beenOpen Doors' passion for motivating, mobilizing, and educating the
body of Christ in the West to reach out to our suffering brothers and sisters."
- Rick Warren, Author of
"The Purpose Driven Life"
Open Doors Serving persecuted Christians Worldwide Click here to give Bibles.


Master Storyteller: Jesus conveys deep truth in gripping stories

Today's reading: Luke 15
Luke 15:32"This brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
Using simple, homespun images, Jesus expresses profound truths in a way that holds his audience captive. His parables (concise short stories) have won high praise, even from literary experts who do not accept their spiritual message. Some of the most famous of these parables appear only in Luke's Gospel.
The three stories in Luke 15 stir up feelings for the lost-and for the loser. A shepherd scours the hillside in a frantic search for a missing sheep. A woman turns her house upside down over a lost silver coin. A runaway son thumbs his nose at a life of comfort and ends up half-starved in a pigpen. In a few brief sentences, Jesus' parables tug at feelings of loss and remorse that lie buried just beneath the surface in all of us.
Happy Endings
Yet all three parables end the same: Spectacular good news floods in to replace the sadness, and partying breaks out. All the parables point to the limitless love of God for those in real need. God stands ready to forgive all those who cry out to him.
The parable of the lost son actually tells the story of two sons, one irresponsible, the other hardworking. One wastes his life and comes home humbled; the other proudly refuses to celebrate his brother's homecoming. The story ends with one son inside, enjoying a joyful family celebration; his brother lingers outside, bitterly unwilling to forgive. Which son is really lost?

Life Question

When did you lose something important and then find it again?
Today's reading is from theNIV Student Bible
by Zondervan

A proven, common sense approach to studying the Scriptures appeals to high school and college readers (and students of all ages).

Holiday greetings from Bible Gateway! Every year as Christmas approaches, we're exhorted from all directions to embrace the true spirit of the holiday season.

But how do you keep your focus on Jesus when you're being pulled in every direction by Christmas marketing, travel plans, end-of-semester exams, family drama, bills, and everything else that comes along with the holidays?

This Christmas season, we want to help you re-focus on Jesus Christ as you make your way through Advent.

Bible Gateway Christmas Newsletters and Devotions Are Here

We're excited to announce a full lineup of free Christmas devotionals and newsletters!
We've been working overtime for months to put these resources together (that's right, we started thinking about Christmas even before the local retail store put out Christmas decorations way back in September). And working with our content partners, we've assembled six Christmas newsletters for Advent 2011, including:
Advent Devotions: Daily Christmas devotions, music, Scripture readings, and more, throughout the entire season of Advent.
Christmas Joy by Mel Lawrenz: A brand-new daily holiday devotional series by pastor and author Mel Lawrenz, who writes the popularEverything New devotional.
Bible Gateway's Top 20 Christmas Songs: Earlier this year, we asked Bible Gateway fans to share their favorite Christmas songs. We've tallied the results into a countdown of the top 20 Christmas songs as chosen by Bible Gateway visitors!
You can sign up for these email newsletters at There's something for everyone. And like all of our email newsletters, the Christmas newsletters are completely free. The first newsletter begins this Sunday, and the others follow shortly thereafter, so sign up today!
It's our sincerest hope that these resources help you keep your focus on the miracle of Jesus Christ this Christmas, even admist all the distractions of the holiday season.


the Bible Gateway team
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