Friday, December 06, 2013

Fri Dec 6th Todays News

A great man, 'Nelson' Mandela died today. He had been a terrorist for much of his life, but he eschewed terrorism and became a statesman. He achieved a transformation that Arafat had failed. But Mandela never relinquished his socialist ideology. He was ungrateful to those who had worked to free him. He leaves behind a nation divided differently to that of his youth, but with the hope of a future that would have been unimaginable during his incarceration. He died old and blessed. He had family and a legacy that inspires hope in the world of overcoming adversity through stoic defiance. He had been a terrorist, but he embraced love. 
Mandela was old, and his loss is not as substantial as Steve Biko. But his life is the more powerful testimony. Fred Hollows is highly lauded in Australia by many of the same now applauding Mandela. I once met a man who had died in one of Africa's homicidal orgies of violence. The man, whose broken body had been left with others in the half shell of a burned out church where he had rotted for a week. One arm had withered. But after a week, he awoke, and found God. He toured the world, speaking of his experience, and came to my church in Cabramatta with his testimony. Because I am so fat, he had a picture taken, with me, to show his African friends how Australians might live. He related how he had met Mandela when Mandela had been suffering prostate cancer, and he blessed him in the Lord's name. And Mandela was cured. I remember thinking that the Lord could have done better with a child who could give more. But I was feeling uncharitable. Mandela's life, not his petty feelings, means much to Africans and the world. Mandela's legacy is one of hope and love. Forgiveness and redemption. Who hopes for more, that has not sold themselves short? 

Happy birthday and many happy returns Stralia Duke and Vincent Powerhouse Tran. Born on the same day, across the years, along with


Labor Left right out of matters of security

Piers Akerman – Thursday, December 05, 2013 (6:49pm)

HISTORY would indicate the Left cannot be trusted with our security.


Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (11:57am)

This site’s ABC mole, located deep within Ultimo headquarters, forwards an email sent today to ABC staff: 
Dear All,
The 2013 Christmas e-cards are ready for you to download from the intranet.
Our Christmas e-cards are environmentally friendly, quick to download and look wonderful thanks to the talented and creative contributors at ABC Open and ABC Science. 
Sounds promising. Let’s take a look:


“We Zarkxalonians From the ABC Galaxy Come In Peace!” writes our man inside the billion-dollar broadcaster. “Give Us State Subsidies or Be Ex-ter-mi-nated! Here Is A Photo Of Our Leader!”
Others may observe that the ABC’s official Christmas peace creature is both spineless and brainless. Appropriately, it does have tentacles.
UPDATE. The ABC’s charter examined.


Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (11:13am)

Among one or two other accomplishments, the late Nelson Mandela inspired this toe-tapping tune:

UPDATE. A clear-eyed view from the Wall St Journal
The bulk of his adult life, Nelson Mandela was a failed Marxist revolutionary and leftist icon, the Che Guevara of Africa. Then in his seventies he had the chance to govern. He chose national reconciliation over reprisal, and he thus made himself an historic and all too rare example of a wise revolutionary leader …
He started his life sentence at Robben Island prison near Cape Town a would-be Lenin. He walked out of jail on February 11, 1990—at age 71—an African Havel.
Age mellowed him. Times changed … Mandela became the biggest of African men by refusing to act like a typical African “Big Man.” He transcended his party’s history of Marxism, tribalism and violence. The continent and world were fortunate to have him. 


Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (10:57am)

Here’s your headline of the week:



Tim Blair – Friday, December 06, 2013 (2:47am)

One crim aims to replace another
Former Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Al Sanchez, convicted on federal charges of rigging hiring to benefit political foot soldiers, filed Monday to run for the Cook County Board seat previously held by William Beavers — who is headed for prison. 
(Via Iowahawk)

Palmer should explain if he snowed Parliament

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (9:22am)

I do hope Bronwyn Bishop investigates whether Clive Palmer misled Parliament, as Hedley Thomas’s evidence suggests:

WHEN father-to-be Clive Palmer formally asked for a paternity leave pass from federal parliament, few realised it was to give him time to hob-nob at the birth of a vanity project - the “World Leadership Alliance” at his Sunshine Coast dinosaur park.
As political foes and friends alike endured another long parliamentary sitting in Canberra yesterday, Mr Palmer zipped between a beach club, lunch, cocktails and a fancy dinner at the beachside resort, sharing the prestige of his exalted roles as the alliance’s “secretary-general”, as well as “president of the World Economic Council”.
Bemused staff, who leaked the confidential internal diary of his day to The Australian yesterday, said Mr Palmer owed the Speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, an explanation for potentially misleading the house…
When Mr Palmer issued his plea to the Speaker on Tuesday afternoon for an early mark from parliament, it was for the birth of his fourth child… “On indulgence, Madam Speaker, I request leave from the house to be absent from tomorrow for the birth of my child next week,” Mr Palmer said.

The Liberals must restore free speech. That freedom defends all, regardless of faith or ethnicity

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (9:11am)

Free speech

Professor James Allan:

THIS government’s commitment to repeal at least parts of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, the so-called anti-hate speech laws that were used against Andrew Bolt, raises at least four crucial issues.
First, any commitment to free speech is a commitment to allowing people to say and write things you may not like, that you may detest, that you may disagree with and find offensive. If the words spoken are words we all agree with and find congenial, then there is no need for any commitment to free speech…
The next point about the repeal of these existing hate speech provisions is that they were grossly misused in the Bolt case…
The whole Bolt saga was an embarrassment to Australia’s liberal credentials…
Next, there is the democratic issue. Tony Abbott and the Coalition went to the September election with a major pledge to repeal all or most of section 18 of the act. So it is right that, having won a big majority, they do what they promised…
The fourth issue relates to the prudential aspects of running a newly elected government. George Brandis, our new Attorney-General, made plain his commitment to free-speech principles before the election. And he is clear that he will proceed with some sort of repeal…
This repeal needs to go ahead. All four aspects of this provision, the ones aimed at offending, insulting, humiliating and intimidating, they need to go. A half-hearted repeal would hardly make Brandis or the Coalition defenders of free speech and liberty. Honour your campaign pledge, Senator Brandis.
I have been particularly disappointed to be treated as collateral damage by Jewish community leaders and political players who have been demanding these illiberal laws be kept. Several have privately assured me they found the case against me a misapplication of the law or even an injustice. But not one publicly said so. Every one of them knows what a supporter I have been of the Jewish community, not just in print, yet not one publicly protested when a Jewish QC told a Jewish judge in my case something far more foul than anything I had written - that my thinking resembled that of the Nazis who drew up the Nuremberg race laws.  That obscene slur struck me as a legally sanctioned defamation.
I do, however, single out Danny Lamm for offering to speak on my behalf. I am grateful to him.
But I believe the Jewish community - or those members involved in public advocacy - should reflect on whether principle here has been trashed for advantage by representatives who should know better.
I have been warned that some people are taking offence at my mentioning the religion of the judge and the barristers for the complainants. One Jewish community leader has even had the hide to wonder in an email to me if I was suggesting a “Jewish conspiracy”.
It should be clear - and would be to those who know me - that the reference is made to suggest just how much an insult was meant by the Nazi reference and how explosive it was in the context of the case.
There will be some who will nevertheless want to take offence and portray me as something I’m not so they can distract attention from the real argument. To them I say this: I have risked my reputation to defend Israel from calumnies before a mob and a media only too keen to hear and spread them, and on national television:

Please do me the courtesy of not now trashing my reputation by smearing me as some kind of enemy of Israel or Jews just to win a debating point. I’ve dared say more in Israel’s defence in public than many Jews with a public profile. Drag me down in this debate and you only undermine one of Israel’s greatest supporters in the media. And you win only trash in doing so - laws even worse that the kind activists used to try to stop me from saying what I did below (from 2:45) about anti-Israel boycotts:

I understand Jews fearing that too much free speech will unleash anti-Semitism - and I understand even better how much they have to fear from such racism, given the history of the last century.
But they are drawing the wrong lessons from the rise of Nazism. The Nazis did not flourish because they had too much free speech. They flourished because their critics had none.
Indeed, Germany had laws against Nazi hate-preaching before Hitler’s rise to power, and they made not the slightest difference (although, yes, they were weak and even more weakly applied). For instance:

The [Völkischer Beobachter] was originally founded in 1887 as a four-page Munich weekly, the Münchner Beobachter. It had become a daily anti-Semitic gossip sheet with a circulation of about 7,000 when it was bought by Adolph Hitler in 1923 to serve as the propaganda organ of his Nazi Party. In 1941 its circulation had passed 1.1 million.
Publication of the Völkischer Beobachter was suspended three times in the early 1920s by the pre-Hitler German government because of anti-Semitic articles and attacks on government policies and officials.

Or even more often:

VB was chiefly a purveyor of anti-Semitism and radical propaganda. [Publisher] Amann later bragged that after passage of the Law for the Protection of the Republic, it was banned thirty-four times for harassing the “Weimar system.”
An example:

July 15, 1931
BERLIN (Jul. 14)
The Voelkischer Beobachter, Adolf Hitler’s personal organ, was suspended by the Munich police today for three weeks. The suspension is the result of the paper’s virulent attacks on the German government in connection with the Hoover moratorium plan and the publication of an allegation that Karl Severing, Prussian minister of the interior, was heading an organized massacre of Hitlerites by Communists.
Hitler even boasted of being censored to win support:

Once the principle of such censorship was accepted, it was turned against everyone - and none more than the Jews of Germany:


Nelson Mandela dies

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:46am)

Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died, aged 95. 

Not a whistleblower but an idiot and tool of Russia

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:38am)

Not a “whistleblower” but a traitor. Edward Snowden, given asylum in Russia, helps Russia’s PR war:

Swedish signals intelligence agency FRA spied on Russian leaders and shared the data collected with the US, local media report citing Edward Snowden leaks.
Mark Bowdenaug isn’t buying the “whistleblower” line, either:

Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden ... are young people at war with the concept of secrecy itself, which is just foolish. There are many legitimate reasons for governments to keep secrets, among them the need to preserve the element of surprise in military operations or criminal investigations, to permit leaders and diplomats to bargain candidly, and to protect the identities of those we ask to perform dangerous and difficult missions.
The most famous leakers in American history were motivated not by a general opposition to secrecy but by a desire to expose specific wrongdoing…
Manning and Snowden are wholesale leakers. I can’t know this for a fact, but I suspect they were not completely aware of all they carried off. It isn’t just that they didn’t completely understand what they were leaking; they literally did not know what all of it was. Computers enable individual operators to open floodgates. Out spills everything, the legitimate along with the illegitimate. It’s easy, and it’s irresponsible. It proceeds from a Julian Assange-influenced, comic-book vision of the world where all governments are a part of an evil plot against humanity…
There have been a few things in the Manning and Snowden leaks that might have warranted taking a principled stand, but the great bulk of what they delivered shows our nation’s military, intelligence agencies, and foreign service working hard at their jobs—doing the things we the people, through our elected representatives, have ordered them to do. It came as no surprise to me that America has been aggressively collecting massive pools of data in order to discover and derail terrorist attacks in advance, an enormously difficult thing to do, and yet the very thing Americans demanded after 9/11…
Snowden ... has turned himself into an enduring symbol of idiocy by fleeing the oppressive grip of Barack Obama for the open arms of that great civil libertarian, Vladimir Putin.
Both Manning and Snowden strike me not as heroes, but as naifs. Neither appears to have understood what they were getting themselves into, and, more importantly, what they were doing
(Thanks to readers A.B. and Tabitha.) 

ABC tells children Abbott isn’t sorry like nice Rudd was

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (8:31am)

Miranda Devine notes the ABC is so saturated by its Leftist bias that even children’s programs preach its politics:

With a cheery youth-friendly style, [Behind The News] promotes the soft-left line on everything from asylum seekers to gender equality to big government spending.
[Tuesday’s] episode of BTN began with a story about Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s “broken promise” on Gonski funding.
Next was “Why sorry seems to be the hardest word over the Indonesian spy scandal”, complete with footage of Kevin Rudd making his Stolen Generations apology. Praise for Rudd was cleverly delivered using Tony Abbott’s words.
“So it seems Tony is a fan of people who say sorry too. Well, he was.”
That is, until the Indonesia spying scandal erupted. No mention that the spying occurred during Rudd’s sainted reign…
A scan of other BTN stories this year finds similar examples of loaded commentary: “The new PM Tony Abbott hasn’t repaid some money that he claimed for going to a few running and cycling events. The fitness freak says they were genuine community events, so it’s OK for the taxpayer to help foot the bill.”
(Thanks to readers Whatthe and watty.)
A petition is circulated:

To the President and members of the Senate
We the undersigned request that the Senate:

1) Conducts a complete review into the Australian Broadcasting Corporations Act 1983 and strengthens the ABC’s charter to remove any ambiguity;
2) Evaluates whether the ABC with its expanding media and online presence is making it impossible for independent media to compete;
3) Evaluates whether the ABC is suitably servicing the contract to run the Australia Network;
4) Reviews whether the ABC board including the Chairman is abiding by the charter;
5) Evaluates whether the Managing director of the ABC, Mark Scott, conducted himself appropriately when he decided to promote the Guardian’s spy allegations. Especially since it has emerged that the ABC refused requests from intelligence agencies to redact the material in the interests of national security.
Sign here.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:

An insightful interview with Donald McDonald on The Drum- watch vid from 9.20 to 30.43.
He was asked (at 21.24) by host Julia Baird should the ABC have published the August 2009 Snowden leak. McDonald: “I personally would have left it to The Guardian.”

Abbott fixing what Rudd, Snowden and the ABC broke

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:41am)

The Abbott Government is making good progress in fixing up Labor’s mess:

THE Abbott government has accepted Indonesia’s six-step process for restoring the bilateral relationship in the wake of the Australian spying scandal...
Importantly for Australia, which is braced for the release of further secret material stolen by Mr Snowden, a former US security contractor, about its espionage activities in the region, [Indonesian foreign minister] Dr Natalegawa said Indonesia did not want the revelations causing any further crises.
“What I have suggested not only to Australia but to other colleagues in our region, to be honest, is that we must ready ourselves for what’s to come in future revelations, not (just) about Australia but whomever,” he said.

And now for the firm smack of leadership

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:26am)

Dennis Shanahan is right about the problem and right to suggest the fix is already in:
Abbott’s genuine humility at being elected Prime Minister needs an injection of pride in achievement to demonstrate who is in control and to develop a less supine position.
He needs to become more openly assertive and responsible—not just for public consumption but for internal reasons.
There is evidence in Abbott’s actions, such as the surrender of the forlorn and dangerous plan to save $1.2bn in school funding, and in his behaviour—the marked stepping up in his parliamentary performance directed at Bill Shorten and the previous Labor government—to suggest he is preparing to take the field.

Professor Reuter’s next job: to apologise in Indonesia for sliming his country

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:02am)

On Tuesday I accused Professor Thomas Reuter of spreading incendiary anti-Australian propaganda in an article in the Jakarta Post claiming Australian troops occupied Bali for the Dutch during the independence struggle and were involved in massacres.
It turns out he just made that bit up:

The University of Sydney’s Adrian Vickers, a historian of Indonesia whose father was among the Australian troops in the region just after the war, ... said it was simply not true that Australian troops had occupied Bali during the early period in which Allied forces were seeking to hold positions for the returning Dutch.
And he said there was no evidence of Australian involvement in atrocities against Indonesian independence fighters.
“I have seen nothing (before) that even alleges this,” he said. Professor Vickers said research suggested that “many of the troops were sympathetic to the Indonesian cause"…
Last night, after Professor Vickers complained to The Conversation, Professor Reuter backtracked and the website posted a correction. Professor Reuter said the passage was “poorly worded”, admitted Australian troops did not occupy Bali, and was “clarifying the nature of the information on which I based my statement of alleged Australian involvement in actions against local supporters of Indonesia independence”.
This is scandalous. And what of Reuter’s other claims in his poisonous article? Where’s the evidence for his claim that Australia is guilty of “attempts to assassinate Sukarno”? Where’s the evidence for his claim that there was “applause” from Australia for the massacre of up to 1 million Indonesians in the power struggles in the 1960s?
What else is Reuter teaching at Melbourne University? What other dangerous stories is he telling in Indonesia?
At the very minimum Reuter has a responsibility to publish a retraction of his claims in the Jakarta Post. And Melbourne University should hold an inquiry into his activities. The taxpayer-funded Conversation should also explain how it came to run something making such preposterous and dangerous claims.
This correction on Reuter’s article raises more questions than it answers and does not address other clear errors Reuter has made:

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that “Australian troops participated in the occupation of the outer islands, including Bali, and were involved in massacres”. Elements of these claims cannot be verified and have been removed.

Proof: Holden doesn’t want to be saved - or some Ministers don’t want to save it

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (6:46am)

Holden may have saved the Abbott Government the trouble of deciding whether to give it yet another handout:

The Australian understands that General Motors was poised to announce it was ending its Australian manufacturing operations in 2016 as early as yesterday, but a decision in Beijing the night before has delayed the decision.
Sources say that General Motors is delaying the announcement for commercial reasons… It is understood some Coalition ministers, including Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, have not been advised of General Motors’ decision, because the company “does not want to be saved”, sources told The Australian last night.
Of course, such comments may come from Ministers keen to turn off the tap but just as keen not to get the blame for Holden closing down:

Mr Macfarlane said last night it was not his understanding that General Motors’ had already made a decision to pull out of Australia.
South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said last night Mr Macfarlane had told him he had spoken to Holden and the company had denied the reports.
“What is happening now is that federal government ministers are briefing against their own colleagues, exposing the deep divisions in the Liberal Party over the auto industry’s future,” Mr Weatherill said.
But maybe the rumor is true:

A Holden spokesman last night declined to “respond to speculation”.
More resistance to calls for a bailout:

SENIOR Abbott government ministers are resisting a quick bailout of Qantas, despite the airline flagging plans to sell down key assets such as its frequent flyer program and Jetstar as it heads for a predicted pre-tax 12-month loss of up to $860 million.
Joe Hockey and Transport Minister Warren Truss yesterday turned pressure back on Qantas to take steps to improve its fortunes as the airline flagged 1000 job losses in a disastrous profit guidance to the market, predicting it would make a loss of between $250m and $300m for six months…
Qantas has been desperately lobbying the government and conducting a campaign against rival Virgin Australia in an attempt to get debt guarantees to help it avoid the downgrade.



Sarah Palin
Is there any doubt it's imperative to protect the heart of Christmas? Take a look at this article about an elementary school in Texas banning Christmas trees and the colors red and green from a “winter” party. Just like I write about it “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas,” every day we see stories like this one, and we need to stiffen our spines, say “enough is enough,” and hold on to REAL hope, America! The real hope that IS the message of Christmas. We can remember and capture that spirit of true hope during this holiday season and commit to live it out every single day. I promise you, it works!

See the article here:


hmm, carbon in apple pie .. ed===

With a heavy heart we report Nelson Mandela has passed away. Mandela was 95. In his lifetime, he was a man of complexities. He went from a militant freedom fighter, to a prisoner, to a unifying figure, to an elder statesman.

Earlier this year we announced John Wayne Cancer Institute will Honor the Mandela Family by presenting them with the "True Grit" Award. "The Wayne Family is truly honored to present the 'True Grit' Award to the Mandela Family," said Patrick Wayne, Chairman of the Board at JWCI and son of the legendary actor John Wayne. "Their spirit, fortitude and strength in ending apartheid and easing human suffering inspire us all and is unsurpassed as is our commitment to eradicate cancer and provide hope to cancer patients around the globe."

The Mandela Family will be honored with the "True Grit" Award for continuing the mission of former President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Laureate Nelson Mandela who helped bring an end to apartheid. As global advocates for human and civil rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance, the family is preserving the history, heritage and legacy. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, Nelson Mandela was a leader against the white minority's oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa. His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the anti-apartheid movement both within his country and internationally. His family also suffered under the regime and was imprisoned and sentenced to house arrest. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multiethnic government to oversee the country's transition.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." Nelson Mandela

Ali Kadhim
February 1st, 1975 - From an island prison, within a 4 meter square concrete cell, and on a bed matress less than an inch thick, he writes to his wife and says “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.” Mandela served 18 of his 27 years in prison within that very cell. He still continues to teach so much to those willing to learn. Leadership, justice, freedom, resistance. Your words and actions will never die MADIBA!
The Obama Administration failed to adequately justify its growing ties with the Burmese government and military yesterday at a Congressional hearing. Those who testified for the Administration were met with strong, bipartisan opposition from Congress.

"I personally don’t believe that the Burmese military needs to be trained to stop killing and raping and stealing lands from people within their own country,” said Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley of New York...Republican panel chairman, Rep. Steve Chabot of Ohio, also said the administration was being too hasty to engage with the military, and that the United States risks losing its remaining leverage to encourage further reforms."


These two guys, Rajesh Kumar Sharma and Laxmi Chandra, have been running a free school under a metro bridge in New Delhi, India for the last 3 years. Rajesh and Laxmi have about 30 students - they are kids who live in the nearby slums and cannot afford a public education.

Faith in humanity = RESTORED!

James Calore
If you need me, I'll be in the study...


Michelle Malkin
‘Brava, ma’am!’ Doctor responds to AMA solicitation in epic fashion [pic] ==>

Stephanie Ann
While people argue about whether Mandela was a hero or a terrorist, I will reflect on the words of two different men... and I know which one I choose to support.

Here's the difference between two men!

“As you press on for justice, be sure to move with dignity and discipline, using only the weapon of love. Let no man pull you so low as to hate him. Always avoid violence. If you succumb to the temptation of using violence in your struggle, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and your chief legacy to the future will be an endless reign of meaningless chaos.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., 1956

“At the end of the day… violence was the only weapon that would destroy apartheid.” ~ Nelson Mandela, 1959

Looking for the perfect Christmas present?! Look no further than these single and double TARDIS Doona covers, with FREE Delivery Australia Wide! Shop Now:-

David Bowles
I'm excited to announce that on December 10th, AIM Media Texas (the folks behind The Monitor and other papers) will be releasing Creature Feature: 13 Frightening Folktales of the Río Grande Valley. This eBook collects the nine stories published in The Monitor this past September and October, plus an additional four tales I crafted especially for the volume. Featuring a baker’s dozen of fantastic illustrations from several amazing artists, this beautiful book will make a great Christmas present for that fan of fear in your family.

Creature Feature will first go on sale, but it will eventually make its way to your preferred purveyor of eBooks. Enjoy…with the lights on!

Former NSW State Emergency Services deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy was fired after doing her job too well and alleging to her boss that his good mate had engaged in potentially corrupt behaviour, an inquiry has heard.
I'm unimpressed because the ICAC did not examine the issues surrounding the death of Hamidur Rahman. Had they looked at my issue in '01, Rahman might not have died in '02. - ed
My heart goes out for that mum and the toddler. - ed


Until somehow when this lady met this camel. And they knew it was much more than a hunch. That their troupe would one day be like a family. And that's the way they became a shady bunch. - ed===

Aprille Love
Taking a moment to remember the wonderfully inspiring man that is Nelson Mandela!


Where the Land Meets the Sky

Taken in Northern Arizona just outside of Monument Valley. The monsoon clouds were building in the late afternoon heat of the day and were creating some nice micro storms.

Cropped 3 image Panoramic

Exif data

Camera Nikon D7100
Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture f/11.0
Focal Length 10 mm
ISO Speed 100
 — in Arizona.
Governing for all? - ed

Did you know Mac can support Windows?

John Tran LOLOLOLOLOL lolz!!! Borats Lalich! I remember at the voting booth when a guy hands me Lalich's leaflet, I said no thanks, he sees me Asian so was surprised and said "really, not Labour?" I said "Piss off, please", he looks sternly at me, I said "I did say please and remember it's non of your business who I vote, and remember you might be breaking a law here."
Union has destroyed car industry - ed
one day, eyes .. ed
Model years count more .. ed
A reformed terrorist, an ongoing bigot, a humble man and a statesman. Nelson achieved much in his life, and inspired many. He rests now. But his legacy uniting a nation should be marked by being kind to others. - ed
I'm sure there is much to criticise, but some of the criticism is OTT. Unless critics stick to the truth, they devalue their currency. - ed
.. she said 10 years .. ed

The easiest way to compile a small fortune is to start with a large one. - ed
but the prostitutes remember he was very fast
.. the honourable member of the privileges committee .. I couldn't make that up, write and call it believable fiction - ed
Keating is being offensive. - ed
John Tran He is. Though I do understand the argument that too much significance is being placed on ANZACs, the idea that a nation found an identity out of immense grief and tragedy, and realisation that's it's own path can be forged much better without it's masters.. is unique and unpretentious. More so, that it does not glorify war and commenrate a revolution, or the murdering of brothers or neighbours in civil war. It signifies a simple agonising respect, but somewhat sensible awakening. Though you can also be a self centred, obnoxious whining indolent attention seeker like keating.. and call a dumb failed military expedition, without really able to see beyond that is troublesome from a former PM
4 her


It is Friday

David Bowles
"It's like there was a fellow in every man that's done a-past the sanity or the insanity, that watches the sane and insane doings of that man with the same horror and the same astonishment."

-William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

12 Best of the US resumes tomorrow in The Monitor.
Aprille Love

Got my cook on. Oven baked garlic and rosemary lamb with roast vegetables and yoghurt, mint and corriander sauce. #wifey #masterchef
Eric Hoffer: "The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it.Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world."


<There is a question puzzles me that I permanently thinking about it why there are some people do not recognize the state of Israel in spite of the culture Cabalasraúala and civilization and its superiority in many areas of intellectual, scientific, you answer it state made itself and a permanent research in the advancement and promotion in its state and its people, they're just like any other peoples of the world have the right to that have their state and identity>
I would argue that Israel is widely recognised, but that it is part of the politics of the left to embrace bigotry which unites them .. remember, US Democrats have a proud history of exalted leaders who killed Indians, supported slavery and exploited Blacks. Frther, a conservative position is often different to that .. therefore, the left have to support such bigotry to be different. The left don't have to be consistent in their bigotry, they merely have to be united in their opinion which devalues cultural values and assets. - ed===


“Judea” (יהודה) is the origin of the term “Jew” (יהודי). Judea and Samaria are the cradle of Jewish history, religion, culture, holidays, ethos, language and yearnings. The official name of the area was “Judea and Samaria” from Biblical times until April 1950, when Jordan occupied/annexed the area, renaming it “West Bank,” as distinguished from the east bank of the Jordan River. Judea and Samaria was the official name used by the 1922-1948 British Mandate of Palestine, as well as by the U.N.


Jewish settlements were established in Judea and Samaria after the 1967 War. However, it was pre-1967 Arab terrorism which annihilated the Jewish communities of Hebron, Gush Etzion and Gaza and raged in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Galilee during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s — Arab terrorism aimed at preventing the establishment of an “infidel” Jewish state in the “abode of Islam.” Several Arab armies, and Palestinian terrorists, raided Israel in 1948 and persisted in anti-Jewish terrorism before the 1967 establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.


Mahmoud Abbas is the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which supersedes and oversees the Palestinian Authority. The PLO was established in 1964, three years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The 1964 Covenant of the PLO referred only to the pre-1967 area of Israel. The current PLO Covenant targets Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 area of Israel for “liberation.”

Abbas is, also, the leader of Fatah, which was established in 1959, eight years before the establishment of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The August 2009 Sixth Convention of Fatah called for the continued struggle “to eradicate the Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.” The strategic goal of Abbas is to uproot the Jewish state and not, merely, the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.


Peaceful coexistence on the one hand, and the uprooting of Jewish or Arab communities on the other, constitute an oxymoron. The 1.6 million Arabs, among 6 million Jews, within pre-1967 Israel do not constitute an obstacle to peace; nor do the 350,000 Jews, among 1.7 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The uprooting of Arab communities in pre-1967 Israel would be as immoral as would be the uprooting of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. “Judenrhein areas” contradict peaceful coexistence. In fact, the litmus test of Palestinian/Arab intent is the acceptance or rejection of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.


Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria — which is dramatically larger than Jewish construction there — presents facts on the ground, just as Jewish construction does. Western tendency to single out Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, while ignoring Palestinian construction, prejudges the outcome of negotiations! Opposition to Arab presence in pre-1967 Israel should not be tolerated; so, too, should the opposition to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria. Israel’s government razes illegal Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. Israel should, also, raze the 1,100 illegal Arab homes built annually in Jerusalem and the thousands of illegal Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.


Judge Stephen Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice, determined that Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria was rooted in self-defense and therefore did not constitute “occupation.” Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School, former undersecretary of state and co-author of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which sets out the criteria for Israel-Arab peacemaking said U.N. Resolution 242 does not call for withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries; Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai amounts to a 90 percent withdrawal from post-1967 areas; the legality of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria “cannot be terminated except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors, and perhaps not even then, in view of Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, ‘the Palestine article,’” which upholds the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine. This 1922 international legal instrument considered Judea and Samaria part of the Jewish national homeland: “Jews have the same right to settle [in Judea and Samaria] as they have to settle in Haifa.” The 1993 Oslo Accord does not prohibit the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The campaign against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria is based on gross misrepresentations. It is not a peace-enhancer; it is an appeasement-enhancer, fueling terrorism and undermining the pursuit of peace.


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The god of liberalism is an idea and ideas are notoriously fragile things. They fall apart once they make the transition from the ivory tower of the mind to the mud and dross of reality. Every writer and artist has had the experience of holding a perfect ideal in his mind only to lose it as he struggles to set it down on canvas or paper. The creative process is that recognition that the ideal cannot be made real. - See more at:
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Heavenly Father, I bless You and thank You for Your goodness and faithfulness in my life. I receive Your promises as truth, no matter what is going on around me. Fill me with joy and peace as I hold fast to Your promises for me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.(Romans 4:17, NIV)

Twenty years before Abraham ever had a child, God said to him, “Abraham, I have made you a father of many nations.” Notice God spoke to him like it had already happened, in the past tense. I’m sure Abraham thought, “God, you must have made a mistake. I’m not a father. I don’t even have one child. Abraham could have talked himself out of it; but instead, he chose to believe.

Today, you may be thinking, “I’m not blessed. I’m not confident. I’m not healthy. I’m not favored.” But when God says you’re blessed, don’t try to figure it out. Just agree with God and say, “I am blessed.” When God calls you prosperous, don’t go check your bank account. Don’t go look at the stock report. Just agree with God and say, “I am prosperous.” Things may look impossible. That’s all right. That’s the way things looked for Abraham. But sure enough, God’s promises came to pass, and he became the father of many nations. When things look difficult, don’t agree with your circumstances, agree with His promises because He is faithful, and He will complete what He’s started in your life.God bless you.
harriet died at 175 years old.harriet was not a human.She was a Galapagos tortoise,and she lived at a zoo in Australia.Researchers said that freshwater pearl in Finland lived for more than 200 years.The burrowing clam (ocean quahog) often lives beyond 400 years.Various tress such as the bristlecone pine and some species of cypress and spruce,live for thousands years.
Yet human,who are generally considered to be the apex of terrestrial life,do well to live for 80 to 100 years despite our extraordinary efforts to extend life. What do you think is responsible? or is there the possibility that we can live much longer?

What did Bible say about how long we can live on earth? Genesis 6:3 says,Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Psalm 90:10 says,The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.Proverbs 10:27. Yes, we can die before our time but Let me ask you this, when a person has an abortion, is that God's appointed time for that baby to die? When somebody commits suicide, is that God's appointed time for them to die? When somebody gets drunk, and kills an entire family, was that God's appointed time for them to die? Is it Biblical to "die before your time"? Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?Ecclesiastes 7:17. I want you to reflect on the message and change your ways.God will always be right.God bless you.
Father God,I thank You for the dreams and desires You’ve placed in my heart. Direct my steps. Fill me with Your peace. Show me the purpose and plan You have for me so that I can make them clear. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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Bnei Anousim (Hidden Jews) Wedding in Belmonte, Spain
This is so beautiful. After hundreds of years of not practicing Judaism, these hidden Jews from Spain (whose great-great-great-grandparents were forced to baptise to Christianity by the Spanish Monarchy) are now reconnecting with their Jewish past, living Jewish lives and getting married as Jews! How beautiful.
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We are in a Movie Festival!!!

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Our new production, Joy of Israel, is being screened at the Jewish Film Festival in Jerusalem on Dec. 5th, the last night of Chanukah!!!
We at 12Tribe Films are excited to introduce to you the 3rd episode of our newest production - the Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller Episode #3 - Holy Hebron and Sweet Hebron Hills! Never before has the beauty of Israel been showcased for the world to see in reality TV format with the mission of educating, exciting and connecting people to Israel. This new series will reshape the entire image of living in Israel into one that is exciting, inspiring, and beautiful.
Don't miss watching this fascinating new Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller episode. Click here to watch and be inspired!
After the film festival screening, everyone is invited to a special JOY OF KOSHER book launch party with a special food and wine tasting! If you are in Jerusalem, click here to order your tickets today!
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Must-Watch- This might be the most powerful clip you ever see.
International law is on Israel's side. Watch the video to understand why!
This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
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Don't miss this best seller! 
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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.
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Click here to watch:Joy of Israel Episode 3 – Holy Hebron and Sweet Hebron Hills
Jamie Geller's food and travel show takes you to Hebron. Visit Mearat HaMachpela, The Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the ancient Avraham Avinu, the Abraham Synagogue. Then take a tour of a modern bean to chocolate bar factory, Holy Cacao.
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I haven't heard back from you, and I need your help TODAY. We have one last shot at pushing Sarah Palin over the top and into the race for Alaska's U.S. Senate seat.

Incumbant Democrat Mark Begich just came out in support of expanding both Obamacare and a plan that will bankrupt Social Security.

Once-and-for-all, let's convince Sarah to commit to run for Alaska's U.S. Senate seat and end the Democrats wild spending spree before it's too late.

Contribute even $5 and help us seal the deal!



Sarah Palin is listening, AND so are the liberals. 

You, the Tea Party Leadership Fund, single–handedly got her attention despite facing big establishment opposition. We believed in her, and she heard us. 

From Sarah's most recent appearance on Hannity: "I've considered it because people have requested me considering it." 

Our petition drive to get Sarah Palin in the United States Senate is working! 

BUT she still hasn't made a final commitment to run and that's why I need you to respond to this request right away.

Here's the deal, it was your voice from our first petition that convinced her to test the waters by mentioning her interest in running. AS SUCH we're emailing you to launch a renewed petition effort to lift Sarah Palin over the top and convince her to run for Alaska's Senate seat in 2014. 

Incumbent liberal Democrat Mark Begich is terrified of facing a real challenger. That's why when Sarah let slip on Hannity she was considering a run, Begich took the time to attack her in the press, "I don't know if she's a resident. She's been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what's going on." 

Last I checked, Mark Begich's the one who's been spending too much time in Washington D.C. begging the Obama administration for favors rather than representing the good people of Alaska. Send Sarah to stop him! 

Senator Sarah Palin, think about it. It just makes sense. 

The United States Senate rests just outside conservative control, and by electing more Tea Party Heroes to replace the establishment cronies from either party — you can be a tangible part of saving our nation from slipping into the vast sea of liberal socialism. 

Now more than ever, we need another Tea Party Hero in the Senate to halt Harry Reid and his pals in their war against our Constitution on issues like amnesty, gun control, and our nation's crushing debt. With Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America will rest easier at night knowing she's at the watch. 

That's why I need your renewed support today by signing the Tea Party Leadership Fund's petition to draft Sarah Palin to the U.S. Senate — and I need you to chip in an extra $25 or $50 so that I can help get her over the final hump. 

Sarah is the proven Maverick who's stood up to the special interests in Alaska and has been a tireless advocate for our Tea Party values ever since she hit the national stage. 

Sign your name to the petition right now, and make a donation of $20, $50 or $100 dollars to convince her you're serious. 


Todd Cefaratti 
Freedom Organizer 

P.S. We worked hard to get her attention — now let's seal the deal. By signing our renewed petition, you make a bold statement — you're tired of the wishy–washy sellout establishment shills and you're ready to put a real leader in the Senate next to Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Visit this link, sign your name to our petition, and help us show Sarah Palin the Tea Party Leadership Fund has her back!

The Tea Party Leadership Fund is a leader in this freedom movement putting your nationwide support into local action.Learn more.

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Here is my tribute cartoon to the man who's name meant "Troublemaker", and wasn't this father of modern South Africa certainly a troublemaker for the forces of tyranny and oppression. He will be missed of course but NEVER FORGOTTEN, especially by the billions on this planet that value FREEDOM above all else.


Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist


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The passing of Nelson Mandela:
Lessons from a life

06 December 2013

With the passing away of Nelson Mandela, one of the giants of our age has left the world stage. Nelson Mandela's path from prisoner to president is inspiring. I do not need to list his remarkable achievements - those are readily available elsewhere but I do want to reflect on three great encouragements I draw from his life.
The first encouragement I see is that Nelson Mandela’s life demonstrates the principle, that an individual can make a difference.  Political pressures, technological innovation and popular movements are upheld today as the agents that shape our world, but the reality is that it's individual men and women who make a transforming difference. I'm happy about this: I've invested my life in people. The cynicism of our age says that you and I can do very little to make the world a better place. I believe otherwise and the life of Nelson Mandela bears this truth.
The second encouragement I draw from the life of Nelson Mandela is that it demonstrates the overlooked principle that what we prevent may be as important as what we achieve.  As the cruel and unjust regime of apartheid began to simmer in the mid 1980s, a bloody civil war in South Africa seemed a certainty. Nelson Mandela's greatest achievement was that it never happened.  On a small scale that principle is applicable to us. Indeed, in asking his followers to be salt, Jesus was expecting that we be sterilising agents; those who prevent evil.  Now the prevention of evil is often undramatic stuff; it is easy for it to be taken for granted and overlooked. This is a vital truth for us. We may feel that we have achieved little in our work, but who knows how much worse it might have been if we hadn't played our part? Sometimes our biggest achievements are invisible.
A third encouragement I find in the life of Nelson Mandela is the value of Christian truth and principles. In our secular age many obituaries are conveniently overlooking the role of the Christian faith and ethics in the shaping of Nelson Mandela, but he was educated in Christian missionary schools and grew up with the values and principles of the Bible. The very virtues for which he is now praised: his humility, his tolerance, his belief in forgiveness, his rejection of hate, his desire for justice for all, and his commitment to reconciliation were all Christian ones. He may be honoured as a secular saint, but the truth is the sacredness of God and the Bible shaped him. 

Indeed when we look at so many of the trouble-spots of the world, we find ourselves desperately hoping for a Nelson Mandela. It's easy to think that the gospel of Christ is mere words. But it's words that change lives and it's lives that change the world.


Revd. Canon J.John

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With Rafael Cruz , Sen. Ted Cruz's dad. Photo taken earlier this year.
Hi everyone! Here's the newsletter for December 5th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Obama: Christmas is no time to tell people they’ve lost insurance

Not one for knee-jerk introspection, President Obama sent a message to Congress yesterday...

Dueling Headlines; ‘Every worker should be paid a living wage’ edition

Hypocrisy aplenty here, so let’s get right to it...

Obama agrees to subject himself to hard-hitting questions from Chris Matthews: A sneak peek

Chris Matthews will pick up where Barbara Walters left off in an interview that is sure to be sponsored by eHarmony...

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Michelle's Top Tweets

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Convincing argument there, Susannah.
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“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:7, 9-10NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Ask, and it shall be given you."
Matthew 7:7
We know of a place in England still existing, where a dole of bread is served to every passerby who chooses to ask for it. Whoever the traveller may be, he has but to knock at the door of St. Cross Hospital, and there is the dole of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loveth sinners that he has built a St. Cross Hospital, so that whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. Nay, he has done better; he has attached to this Hospital of the Cross a bath; and whenever a soul is black and filthy, it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always efficacious. No sinner ever went into it and found that it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow. As if this were not enough, there is attached to this Hospital of the Cross a wardrobe, and a sinner making application simply as a sinner, may be clothed from head to foot; and if he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have a garment for ordinary wear, but armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he asks for a sword, he shall have that given to him, and a shield too. Nothing that is good for him shall be denied him. He shall have spending-money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.
If all these things are to be had by merely knocking at mercy's door, O my soul, knock hard this morning, and ask large things of thy generous Lord. Leave not the throne of grace till all thy wants have been spread before the Lord, and until by faith thou hast a comfortable prospect that they shall be all supplied. No bashfulness need retard when Jesus invites. No unbelief should hinder when Jesus promises. No cold-heartedness should restrain when such blessings are to be obtained.


"And the Lord shewed me four carpenters."
Zechariah 1:20
In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, "What are these?" The answer was, "These are the horns which have scattered Israel." He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, "What shall these do?" These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the "horns," and then the "carpenters." Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work. Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the "horns" grow troublesome, the "carpenters" will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London's poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; "for the battle is the Lord's," and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.

Today's reading: Daniel 1-2, 1 John 4 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 1-2

Daniel’s Training in Babylon
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god.
3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring into the king’s service some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility— 4 young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. 5 The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king’s service....

Today's New Testament reading: 1 John 4

On Denying the Incarnation
1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood....

Mary, Mother of John Mark

Among the Marys mentioned in the New Testament, Mary, the mother of Mark who wrote the second gospel, is spoken of but once (Acts 12:12 - read 12:1-19), yet this brief description of her is suggestive of her life and labors. She was probably the aunt or sister of Barnabas, the one-time companion of Paul (Colossians 4:10), and such a relationship accounts for Barnabas' choice of Mark as his companion - a selection over which Paul and Barnabas parted. Further, being related to Mary would account for the leadership among the saints gathering in her spacious home. Evidently the family belonged to Cyprus, hence the choice of such by Barnabas as the first station in his journeyings (Acts 4:3613:4 ). Sir William Ramsay holds that the narrative of Mary in the Acts was by Mark, which would account for the details of his mother's large house becoming a well-known center of Christian life and worship. There is a legend to the effect that this same house was the scene of a still more sacred gathering when, in its upper room, Jesus observed the Lord's Supper on the night of His betrayal.
It was to Mary's home that Peter found his way after his miraculous escape, for he knew that a company of believers had gathered there to pray for his release. Peter had a peculiar affection for the godly home. He called Mark, "his son" ( 1 Peter 5:13) - a spiritual son, having led him to yield his life to the Saviour. The way in which the saints met in Mary's home bespeaks her tried steadfastness and the bond of intimacy that existed between them. That Rhoda was one of the maids indicates that the household was considerably large, implying that Mary was a widow with means to maintain such a commodious home. As Barnabas her relative gave up his land for Christ, Mary gave up her Jerusalem home to be used as an infant church.
Mary was a woman of sterling qualities and was loyal to her Christian ideals. At that time Christians were a persecuted sect, yet she faced the consequences of yielding up her home as a center of spiritual power and influence, and was self-sacrificing in time, effort and money to serve the Lord. It has been suggested that young Rhoda who went to open the door for Peter was hesitant thinking perhaps it was the soldiers of Herod who had come to arrest some of the homeless Christian friends whose benefactress and patron Mary had become.
As for Mark the evangelist, her son, he was deeply attached to his mother which was probably one reason why he returned to Jerusalem from Perga (Acts 13:13). He wanted to be nearer the one who had meant so much in his life. Doubtless he derived something of Mary's straightforward and decided character so prominent in the gospel he wrote portraying Jesus as the lowly servant of God.
Amram [Ăm'răm]—exalted people orinexperience.
  1. A grandson of Levi, son of Kohath and father of Aaron, Moses and Miriam. Amram died at 137 years of age (Exod. 6:1820).
  2. A son of Bani, who married a foreign wife during the exile (Ezra 10:34).
  3. A son of Dishon and grandson of Anah (1 Chron. 1:41). This name should be Hamram or Hamran.
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December 5, 2011
Forgive Us our ChristmasesSharon Jaynes
Today's TruthFor to us a child is born, to us a son is given... (Isaiah 9:6, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Once upon a time, a little girl named Mary Beth found herself caught in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity, all of which seemed to be coming to a head on Christmas Eve. Her dad was always scurrying about, loaded down with bundles and burdens. Her mom, under the pressure of getting ready for the great occasion, had succumbed to tears several times during the day. The little girl tried to help her weary parents, but always found that she was in the way.
"Not now, Mary Beth! Can't you see I'm busy!" her parents would say.
Finally, near tears herself, she was hustled off to bed. There kneeling to pray the Lord's Prayer, her heart and tongue became intertwined, "Forgive us our Christmases as we forgive those who Christmas against us."
Perhaps Mary Beth's prayer was not such a great mistake after all. Many times we leave Christ out of Christmas. Many times our Christmas spirit is not of good will but of exhaustion, causing us to trample on our loved ones' feelings. And many times we are so busy planning the birthday celebration that we forget to invite the guest of honor.
Imagine for a moment, that you have never heard the Christmas story and you visit a shopping mall on December 22. You listen to the music being played over the intercom system and eavesdrop on a few shoppers' conversations. Next, you stop by a greeting card shop and browse through the rows and rows of red and green envelopes with cards sporting colorful and comical messages. Window displays grab your attention, enticing you with promises of low prices for the last minute shoppers. Stress laden faces rush by carrying stacks of boxes in various shapes and sizes. What conclusions would you draw about the event that culminates on December 25?
Much has changed since the God of the universe decorated the night sky with the star of Bethlehem and directed the choir of angels in a chorus announcing the birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. But the commercialism doesn't have to rule in our hearts and homes. This year, let's focus on the Christ Child and remember the true meaning of the holiday season. As we turn our eyes to the Babe in the manger, we will not view Christmas as a dreaded obligation or a major retail event. It will be a time of joyous celebration, honoring the One Who came to give us eternal life and worshipping our Heavenly Father.
Let's focus on celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas!
Let's Pray
Dear God, sometimes I get too caught in the Christmas commercialism. OK, a lot of times. Today, I'm going to refocus my heart and remember why I'm celebrating this wonderful day in the first place. I'm celebrating Jesus today...and every day!
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
What stirs in your heart when you see how retailers are trying to cash in on Christmas?
What do you think Jesus would say about all that?

What are some ways that you keep Jesus the focus of your holiday season? Let's share some ideas. Log and share your ideas.
More from the Girlfriends
It is hard not to get caught up in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity and lose focus on what's important. If you would like ways to keep Jesus the focus of your holiday season, you'll love Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes. It's packed with helpful ideas and inspiration.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
T. Suzanne Eller
December 5, 2011
Tree Speak
T. Suzanne Eller
"That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not withe r- whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:3 (NIV)
"Suzie, do you see that tree?" My friend, Vera, pointed out a massive tree that was dying. There were a few leaves trying to hang on, but dead branches were fractured and falling.
"We had such a hard summer," she said. "That tree needed deeper roots...just like us." As we walked she shared that if our roots of faith are shallow in hard times and we aren't nurtured spiritually, the heat could harm us.
Tree speak. It's my friend's language. She sees spiritual truths in all aspects of nature. Funny, but as much as I wanted to see the same things she did, all I saw was a tree.
My friend, Vera, is now in a hard place. The heat is on. She has cancer.
And as I pray for her I am finding comfort in today's key verse, Psalm 1:3. In it, a faithful woman (or man) is compared to a tree planted along a riverbank. The tree's roots are so continually nourished that it bears fruit season in, and season out. The tree's leaves never wither. Regardless of conditions outside the river, the tree flourishes. Just like my friend.
Vera had surgery. Chemotherapy. She lost her hair and, for awhile, she was very sick. But she didn't lose her smile or her joy. She didn't lose her faith. When she walked into church with a cheeky pink hat on her bald head, she reached for me with a huge hug.
Now, when I walk by trees that are strong, fruitful and offer shade, I think of Vera. She has taught me to learn from the trees.
We need to nourish our faith so that our roots will grow deep and strong. Maybe today you and I can get by with shallow roots, but where do we turn for truth and comfort when the sun is blazing or the storm is blowing?
Vera taught me that we are nurtured when we spend time reading the Bible and praying. We grow from small saplings with a limited knowledge of who God is into a mature woman of faith who can offer shade to those who come alongside us.
She also showed me how to bear fruit in all seasons. In the good and the bad. Vera's deep roots have caused her to be strong and tall in a season that is anything but easy.
A few months ago I went for a walk by myself. I passed a tree. The leaves were changing colors to orange and vivid red and yellow. It was a show of God's majesty after a summer that was bleak.
And I suddenly thought of Vera. I turned and made my way home, excited. I couldn't wait to share the news with my beautiful friend. I had finally learned the beauty of tree speak.
Dear Lord, I nurture my body with food. I nurture myself with rest. But often I fail to nurture my spirit with Your presence. Help me to place my roots deep in You daily, and grow strong and be fruitful, no matter the season. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Visit Suzie's blog to find out 5 Ways to Grow Spiritually.
Shop with us for Christmas! Did you know when you purchase anything through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity? Your purchase supports the many areas of life-changing ministry we provide at no cost. Although we'd love to offer more discounts, we simply can't compete with online warehouses. So, we're extremely grateful when you shop with us. Thank you!
Application Steps:
In the book, The Divine Mentor by Wayne Corderio, the author says, "The Bible is the predominant way God speaks to us." He suggests you break down one scripture or passage that speaks to you and share an observation, an application and your prayer based on that scripture.
Let's do that today. Read one passage. Write down a scripture that inspired or challenged you. Share why it made you feel the way it did. Then write down one way you can live it out in your every day life. Last, write a prayer.
Be sure to bring your Bible to your devotional time. It's the key that opens the gates that need to be open for you this week. God knows what the doors are. He will take care of the opening; you bring the key. ~ Wayne Corderio, The Divine Mentor
What is one scripture verse that nourishes my roots?
Power Verses:
Jeremiah 17:8, "They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit." (NLT)
Psalm 92:12, "But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon." (NLT)
© 2011 by T. Suzanne Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Relationships: Power/Influence

Power is essential to leadership. Without it leaders can't lead. Unfortunately, power and influence are not always used to help others. If you're a leader, you have some share in these commodities. You have power over others; they listen to you, and you influence them. What you do with that power and influence matters more than you may realize.

The author of Psalm 82 describes a scene in which God chastises and challenges Israel's judges. Because of their role as God's delegates and imagebearers, these men were referred to as "gods." Rather than defending the unjust and judging with partiality, they were accountable to defend the "weak and fatherless" and to protect the rights of the "poor and oppressed" (v. 3). They were to exercise their power in a godly manner, a manner that would rescue the needy and deliver them from the domination of wicked individuals (v. 4).

These men were assigned godlike functions in their roles as judges, but the psalmist predicted that they would fall like mere men (vv. 6-7). While their power may have given them a sense of invincibility, they would one day be called upon to answer to the Judge (v. 8). Since all leaders face the same fate, we must exercise our power and influence with grace and love.

What mistake did the judges of Israel make with regard to their power? How can you avoid that same mistake?
Power/Influence and Who God Is
People are typically more impressed by human power and influence than they are by the everpresent, but generally overlooked, evidences of God's limitless power and influence. Why are we so often impressed by people and unimpressed by our Creator? Turn to Daniel 7:9-14 to consider the Biblical view of the boundless divine authority that overshadows all human authority.
This Week's Verse to Memorize REVELATION 4:11

"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Power/Influence and Who I Am
Has God ever allowed you to come to the end of your resources in order to get your attention? During such times of adversity, we are usually sufficiently humbled to get a better grip on the truth that life is not about us, but about the One who created us. Turn to Daniel 4:34-37 for an account of a powerful man who lost everything until he learned the lesson that power is a trust, not a prerogative.
Power/Influence and How It Works
Without influence there is no leadership. But how do we influence others? We can learn a great deal about this subject by understanding the manner in which God exercises his influence. An event recorded in Acts 10:9-22 demonstrates how God influenced Peter to do something that he, on the basis of deep conviction, was adamantly opposed to doing. By leading Peter in the right direction, God facilitated self-discovery that eventually resulted in a major paradigm shift-both in Peter's life and in the life of the early church.
Power/Influence and What I Do
Rosabeth Moss Kanter contends that "power" is America's "last dirty word." Yet she also asserts that the appropriate exercise of power is necessary and good. Her explanation, along with the example of early church leaders, will help you learn how to better utilize your power.

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.



Denying God's Transcendence

1 Chronicles 29:11 "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty.... Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all" (v. 11).
Theological controversy did not end at the Council of Nicea, and in the following centuries the church had to deal with errors regarding the humanity of Christ, the authority of Scripture, justification, and others. Despite the various positions taken on these issues, however, most theologians still insisted on the transcendence of God. That all changed in the nineteenth century.
Our Creator's transcendence is affirmed throughout Scripture and is reflected in today's passage. When we say God is transcendent, we mean that He is separate from His creation and not dependent on the created order in any way. The Almighty made the universe and He is therefore its sovereign ruler (Gen. 1:1). A biblical view of transcendence does not mean that God is unable to enter into His creation or communicate with it. He is also immanent, present within the universe that He has made ( Ps. 139:7). Nevertheless, creation is not God (pantheism), nor does God depend upon it. Creation, instead, depends upon our Creator for its continual existence (Eph. 4:4-6).
Due to the work of the philosopher Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century, many thinkers began to question whether we could ever know anything about the transcendent realm. This was based on an unbiblical view of transcendence, one that says God is so "wholly other" that it is impossible for His creation to communicate with Him at all. In any case, these ideas trickled down into theology, and through a variety of alterations they produced a new emphasis on immanence. However, the immanence promoted was also an unbiblical one, which basically said that God is so closely identified with His creation as to be virtually indistinguishable from it. The new focus on immanence is known as "immanentism" and ultimately amounts to pantheism.
The result for Christology was to remove any sense that Jesus was unique as an incarnation of God. If all is God, then God is all, not only Jesus. At best, the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel said, Jesus is a picture of what it means that humanness and deity are ultimately one. This humanization of God and deification of man is antithetical to biblical orthodoxy.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The immanentism we have discussed today is still with us. The New Age idea that we are all divine is a further alteration of immanentistic thought and also draws upon Eastern religions. We must be on guard against any view that would make God identical to His creation, for then He would be identified with the wickedness His creation has promulgated. To lose God's transcendence is to lose any hope that He will overcome the evil of this world.
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. 


Denying God's Transcendence

The immanentism we have discussed today is still with us. The New Age idea that we are all divine is a further alteration of immanentistic thought and also draws upon Eastern religions. We must be on guard against any view that would make God identical to His creation, for then He would be identified with the wickedness His creation has promulgated. To lose God's transcendence is to lose any hope that He will overcome the evil of this world.
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. 

I am the Lord's Servant
by Nancy Guthrie

It's hard to imagine how frightening it must have been for teenage Mary to see an angel and hear him speaking to her. The Bible says that "Gabriel appeared to her and said, 'Greetings, favored women! The Lord is with you!' Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 'Don't be afraid, Mary,' the angel told her, 'for you have found favor with God!'" (Luke 1:28-30). We can't help but wonder what the angel looked like and what he sounded like.

As frightening as it must have been to see and hear an angel speaking to her, it must have been even more frightening for Mary to process what the angel was telling her--that she was going to become pregnant, even though she had never been intimate with a man. This would be a scandal in her village. Everyone would whisper about her. She would be shunned and perhaps sent away by her fiance, Joseph, because he would think she had been unfaithful to him. And yet, even though she probably had a million questions and concerns, Mary responded to the angel by welcoming whatever God wanted to do. She said, "I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true" ( Luke 1:38). In a sense she said to God, "I'm yours. You can do anything you want with me," even though she must have known that this situation would be very hard for her, for Joseph, and for her whole family.

It's easy to label what we consider "good things" in our lives as gifts from God and to welcome them with gratitude. But when difficult things happen, we don't look at them as part of God's good plan for us. Mary's example shows us we can also welcome those things we would not necessarily label "good," confident that God's gifts sometimes come in perplexing and even painful packages. When we belong to God, we know he will use whatever he allows into our lives for good. Somehow, in God's hands, these things also become gifts of his grace toward us.

It takes faith--faith to rest in who God is and his love for us; faith to be confident that he is doing something good in and through our difficult circumstances--to see the hard things in our lives as gifts of God's grace.


God, give us faith to surrender ourselves to you even in the hard places of life. We want to be your servants. We believe that anything you ask of us will be good and right because you love us. Fill us with faith to trust you with whatever you ask of us.

Discussion starters 
  • What thoughts do you think went through Mary's mind when the angel was speaking to her?
  • What did Mary believe about God and his promises that allowed her to respond with a song of praise?
  • What difficult things has God asked our family to do or endure? How might these difficult things be God's gifts to us?

Today's devotional reading is taken from Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie. Used by permission.

Today's Advent reading is taken from:Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room
by Nancy Guthrie

Family-friendly devotions for every day in December, including Christ-centered Yuletide meditations, beloved carol lyrics, prayers, and discussion questions.


Away In a Manger

Hymn Story:
The first two verses of "Away In A Manger" are anonymous. They have been attributed to Martin Luther, but this is not clear. An extensive article, Not So Far Away In A Manger: Forty One Settings of an American Carol, gives reasons that this might not be the case. These verses first appeared in Little Children’s Book for Schools and Families, by J. C. File (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America, 1885).
In Dainty songs for little lads and lasses, for use in the kindergarten, school and home, by James R. Murray, (Cincinnati, The John Church Co., 1887), "Away in a Manger" is entitled "Luthers’ Cradle Hymn (Composed by Martin Luther for his children and still sung by German mothers to their little ones)." However Luther is not listed as the composer, instead are the initials J.R.M. The hymn in this publication is set to the tune we know as MUELLER. Later publications attribute this hymn tune to Carl Mueller, of which nothing is known.
Stanza 3, not originally part of the hymn, first was included in Gabriel"s Vineyard Songs, (Louisville, 1892) published by Charles H. Gabriel, with no author given. However, Robert Guy McCutchan, in Our Hymnody: a manual of the Methodist hymnal (New York, etc., The Methodist Book Concern, 1937, p. 436) includes this statement from Bishop William F. Anderson of the writing of the third stanza:
When I was Secretary of the Board of Education, 1904-08, I wanted to use "Away in a manger," which I found with the designation "Martin Luther’s Cradle Song," in the Children’s Day program one year. It had but two stanzas, 1 and 2. Dr. John T. McFarland, then Secretary of our Board of Sunday Schools, was my near neighbor in his office at 150 Fifth Avenue (New York). I asked him to write a third stanza. He went to his office and within an hour brought me the third stanza beginning, "Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay."
As the stanza had been published in 1892, it seems likely that McFarland copied the stanza from a source known to him but Bishop Anderson, seeing it in McFarland’s hand, assumed it to be written by him.
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will ever enter it. And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.
The following is a first person account told by Chaplain Gerald Oosterveen. The story describes his young son who died at age 9 as a result of cancer.
At times he was rebellious, or cried, "Why do I have to die now?"
I did not know either. But he kept fighting, even though there was always the pain. At times the massive quantities of medicine made him a bit delirious. But most of the time he was alert, thinking about the future. As the illness progressed, he became a philosopher, wise beyond young years. "Dad, when I was a kid, I never realized that kids can die too."
Drawing on what he had learned in church and Sunday School, he became a theologian: "Isn’t it amazing that Jesus should be preparing a place for me in His Father’s house. He loves me!"
When I wished we had more money to pay his mounting medical bills, he functioned as my teacher and gently rebuked me: "Don’t say we’re poor dad. Christians are never poor. When you have faith, you’re rich!" The words of Jesus came to my mind and somehow they were speaking to me:
Unless you become like one of these little ones, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God.
Some days I reflect that I too must die and will see my little son again. But when my time comes, will I have conquered fear and go out, as he did, in faith? Can I ever hope to become so trusting, believing as this child? My child.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
Lyricist: Anonymous Tune Name: MUELLER Composer: James R. Murray Music Date: 1887 Sheet Music Key: F Theme: Jesus Christ, His Birth Lyrics Date: 1885 Tune Name: CRADLE SONG Composer: William J. Kirkpatrick Music Date: 1895 Sheet Music Meter: 8.7. Scripture: Luke 2:7
Copyright © 2011 Center for Church Music


Thanks to the Center for Church Music'sSongsandHymns.orgfor providing the content of this newsletter! Please considerdonating to their ministry.

NIV Devotions for Moms

Royal Privileges

Today's reading: Esther 4:1-14
Additional Scripture Readings: Proverbs 18:10; 1 Peter 5:7
When you're in a bad spot, there's nothing like calling for help from the king. Especially when you're related. When we trust Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, we're adopted into his royal family. We can call on the protection of the King's power.
The Bible spells out the royal privilege of the King's protection all through its pages. Joseph was promoted to a high place in Pharaoh's courts. The Israelites were miraculously delivered from slavery in Egypt. Daniel saw God close the mouths of lions. Esther persuaded the ruler of her day and saved her people.
While we're never promised that we'll be untouched by the evil of our world, we are given the security that God will stand with us through it. God sits by our hospital bed and suffers as we suffer. He stands by us in our doubts without rejecting us. Even in the moments we don't feel the protection of the King, it is there for us. No matter what circumstances we face, it's good to know we're related to the King.

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

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

A Christmas Devotional


And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night. - Luke 2:8
It may seem like a stretch of the imagination, but try it anyway: If you were God, and could announce the arrival of the savior of humanity, would you send your messengers to some shepherds out in the fields, as they whiled away their nighttime watch? Why not instead send angels to an assembly of the religious council in Jerusalem? Why not to the megalomaniac King Herod? How about Caesar? Wouldn't that be a night of work-to blow opens the doorways of society, to change everything with a few simple words.
Yet God chose the shepherds. Rough characters at that time, laborers who performed the tedious tasks that many others were unwilling to do. They appeared ragged, smelled of the flocks, and were used to sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
Often, the Bible tells of extraordinary shepherds. A millennia earlier, David, the "shepherd-king" of Israel, had cared for his people, just as he had cared for sheep when he was a boy shepherd in the fields outside Bethlehem. David could write the incredible words of Psalm 23, because he knew what it meant to be a good shepherd, and he knew that God was his good shepherd.
David tells us, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters" (vs. 1-2). And that isn't all. The Lord guides. He protects with his rod and staff.
Jesus, the descendant of David, came to be the good shepherd. In the Gospel of John, Jesus said that he knows us as his sheep, and we are to know him (10:14-15). He promised to defend us from wolves, and not run away. But most importantly, he said that the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.
So consider this: On the night Jesus' life began in this world, an inexorable process was set in motion-leading to the day when he would lay down his life for the world. All this in the fashion of a truly good shepherd. So an angelic visitation to shepherds in Bethlehem-men who understood feeding and guiding and saving-was the best way for Chapter One to begin.
Prayer for today, Psalm 23:
The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.

Ultimate Surrender

Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-28
Probably the hardest thing for me to surrender to God-and this may sound silly because you may be expecting me to say, "My children"-was the huge, five-bedroom home I purchased five years after my divorce. I knew that my home belonged to God and that I was simply a steward of what he had entrusted to me, but that didn't keep it from becoming an idol. My wonderful house in its expensive zip code supplied status. I couldn't imagine giving it up, especially if God wanted me to live somewhere I didn't like.
I eventually realized I was supposed to sell that house, but for a full year I dug in my heels and refused to do it. What a nightmare I lived trying to untangle God's best for my life while still continuing to weave in my stubborn wishes. But God was persistent. He kept reminding me of his desire through the wise counsel of my brother Paul and sister Cathy. He continued to impress on me the need to downsize and simplify my life.
I finally came to the point where I knew I simply needed to obey God and sell the house. When I moved into a smaller home, I suddenly had much more time and energy. I found that I could focus more earnestly on my writing, which was something I had not been able to do previously with all the repairs, chores and decorating.
As terrible as it sounds, it was easier for me to surrender my children to God than it was to trust him with my home. Sad, huh? But I knew in my heart that my children would be in better hands with God than with me. While it was still excruciatingly hard to turn my children's lives over to him, I released them to his loving care by saying a simple, heartfelt prayer to that effect. Actually, I had to say that prayer many times. It seemed to take me forever to be able to voice words that were not a lie. Though I did not drop off my kids at the local temple to be raised by a holy man, like Hannah did with her son Samuel, I did choose to trust that God would love them and guide their lives better than I could.
-Katie Brazelton


  1. What one thing are you holding back from God?
  2. What would happen if you released it?
  3. Why does God insist we sometimes give up things that seem to bring us joy?
1 Samuel 1:28
"So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD."

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.
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