Monday, December 09, 2013

Mon Dec 9th Todays News

Today is the anniversary of my father's passing, age 76, in 2009. He wrote many books on Educational Psychology, edited the prestigious Journal of Educational Psychology for decades, 'wrote' the original Australian Sale of the Century questions but will primarily be remembered for his work as educational evaluator of Sesame Street and the Electric Company. I didn't know him very well. My parents had separated before I was born. They had a rocky relationship, coming together again when I was five ('72) after my mother burned down our house in Leonia, and we moved to Princeton, NJ, where my dad began work for ETS in educational measurement related to SATs. They stayed together until my sick sister's death in '78. Then we came to Australia to live. I lived with my mother. 
He was very good at his work, and was a lovely charming person. The dysfunctional nature of my family is more closely related to my mother, and in some ways he would have had to have been a saint to not fail against her attention. He tried, but he made choices, and had integrity. A half sister of mine nominated him for father of the year, which he won. Tony Barber congratulated him on the birth of his first child while my brother was watching from home. But it is really hard to navigate two families in the public face. No one would have known he had a fractured family life. He was made CEO of the Victorian Board of Studies by Kennett, and did a great job, introducing mass testing of students by computer in a world first. 
I posted a tribute to him, following his death. It became top on the google search list for him, so my family ordered me to take it down. I did, but reposted it too. I'm not the son he wanted. I'm not his only child. But he was my father. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Jack Tuan NguyenAndrew RidgwayPio Johann PamintuanDuc Vo  and Michael Le born on the same day, across the years, as 

Matches
Despatches
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FAIR SHAKE

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (1:30pm)

A bus driver had been awarded $400,000 for tomato sauce trauma.
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TEST PASSED

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (1:28pm)

My claim
Those who refer to Nelson Mandela by his clan name of Madiba are fantastic poseurs. 
Imre Salusinszky’s response
The test of that, my friend, will be Fitzsimons’s column tomorrow ... 
Indeed. Here we go
My most compelling memory of Nelson Mandela was when, attending the opening ceremony of the 1995 World Cup in South Africa, the great man came out on to the field. As one, 50,000 white South Africans got to their feet and cheered him, punching their fists into the air, and roaring ‘’Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!’’ All this, just a few kilometres from Robben Island, where he had been imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he spent behind bars until his release in 1990. The atmosphere was electric, just as it was four weeks later when Mandela came out on to the field for the Springboks v All Blacks final, wearing the No.6 jersey of the Springboks captain, Francois Pienaar … and the people roared once more. Invictus did not get close to capturing the magnificence of the moment. No book could capture the greatness of the man. Vale, Madiba. 
It took a while, but the master eventually got there.
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BLONDE JOURNALISM

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (5:38am)

Shock! Paris Hilton isn’t the stupidest person on Twitter.
Far from it, in fact. But the popular hotel heiress and amateur video enthusiast does have a certain reputation, so Hilton was an easy target for mockery in the wake of Nelson Mandela’s death last week.
Someone quickly composed a fake tweet in Hilton’s name. “RIP Nelson Mandela,” it read. “Your ‘I Have A Dream’ speech was so inspiring. An amazing man.”
Ha ha ha. Poor dumb Paris. Why, she’d be exactly the type to confuse the former South African president with Martin Luther King Jr! Everyone had a good laugh at the silly blonde before getting all serious about the political implications of Mandela’s death.
And that’s when the real idiots stepped forward.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'BLONDE JOURNALISM'
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NAMELESS AND SHAMELESS

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (4:52am)

Back in August, Fairfax’s Jonathan Swan revealed an astonishing story of Labor infighting. Swan cited “multiple sources” from the Prime Minister’s office and among Kevin Rudd’s campaign team, some of whom offered these devastating – but anonymous – quotes: 
“The majority of people in HQ actually hate Rudd.”
“I don’t want us to win under Rudd.” 
Swan, however, only revealed this story on Twitter. Despite having government sources who declared that they wanted Labor to lose, no such story ever appeared in the Fairfax press. Swan’s explanation
Swan told The Australian he did not report the story elsewhere because “they were unnamed sourcesand that didn’t seem like stringent journalism to me”. 
Let’s see how that journalistic stringency is holding up under the new government. On the weekend, Swan contributed to a Fairfax piece slamming Peta Credlin, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff. Check the primary sources for this story: 
… anonymous briefings to journalists …
… anonymous attacks through the media …
… cabinet sources …
… one source who witnessed the exchange …
Not a lot of names there. How did this meet Fairfax’s (and Swan’s) standards for “stringent journalism”?
UPDATE. Jonathan Swan calls to point out that his only contribution to this multi-bylined piece were the quotes from Senator Mathias Cormann, who obviously was named – responding to anonymous quotes. Fairfax, however, remains on the hook.
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HANG IN THERE, HONEY

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (4:02am)

Only $39,997.99 for a TV? Sign me up for two! (Scroll down to customer reviews for the story of Amanda, her TV-buying parents, and white slavery.)
(Via Irobot)
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HELEN WHEELS

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (3:50am)

Sometimes bad parkers need a strong message:

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(Via Instapundit)
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CHINS MUSIC

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (3:09am)

Wandering around Liverpool in the UK a few months ago, I encountered a fellow who wore his hatred of Australia with pride. The lardy lad was clad in a t-shirt bearing the hand-written words: “He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Mitchell Johnson, his bowling is shite.”
It would be interesting to find out if this chap has recently updated his wardrobe. 

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'CHINS MUSIC'
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HAIL THE WHISTLE-BLOWER

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (2:32am)

For many years, a helpful spy deep within the ABC has kept me up to date with the beloved billion-dollar broadcaster’s internal communications.
Earlier in 2013, for example, Marieke – er, I mean, my completely anonymous ABC source, ahem – forwarded an internal email sent to ABC staff from the organisation’s NSW news editor Donald Lange. He was upset about the ABC’s inability to correctly pronounce a certain difficult word.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'HAIL THE WHISTLE-BLOWER'
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MASSIVE

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (6:44pm)

Catherine Deveny reports on a gigantic feminist cycling rally: 
The glorious Clementine Ford addresses the massive and final PushyWomen ride for 2013. 
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Is offering money to an MP’s lawyers - on condition - an offence?

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (10:41am)


This needs some investigation:
LABOR senator Sam Dastyari has avoided a potentially awkward court battle by settling a claim from Craig Thomson’s lawyer Chris McArdle alleging that he reneged on a promise to pay the then independent MP’s legal fees.
Mr McArdle told The Australian the civil case was settled on mutually satisfactory terms, which under the deal are confidential.
Senator Dastyari has repeatedly denied Mr McArdle’s claims that in a meeting at the lawyer’s office, the then NSW ALP general secretary had promised to find $35,000 to help pay Mr Thomson’s mounting legal debts in his fight against union corruption allegations.
The settlement late last week came a day before Mr Thomson was due to file a sworn statement to the court which, Mr McArdle earlier told The Australian, would claim Senator Dastyari had promised to cover the former Labor member of parliament’s legal fees if he agreed to move quietly to the backbench.
How much of members’ money has Labor now donated to Craig Thomson to fight charges relating to what he did with his expenses as a union boss? Do such payments - as alleged - amount to an inducement of a member of parliament, and, if so, should police investigate? 
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We should not spend a dollar on failing companies with featherbed wages

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (10:23am)


Paul Sheehan:

At Qantas, two years ago, several unions led staff through months of rolling industrial action, guerilla tactics and disruptions of service, accompanied by vituperative class warfare by union officials. It was designed to bring management to its knees unless unions got the pay rises and job security they were demanding…
Qantas bought short-term peace but the price was long-term decline. It has an unsustainable cost base. Now shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has declared that Qantas is too important to fail and urged the government to consider making a direct equity injection.
This is classic Labor: subsidise the unions, rather than restructure the company, and pass on the cost to taxpayers…
Holden management also warrants a bucketing. As noted in February last year: ‘’Over the past seven years [the GM Holden collective bargaining agreement] has delivered a cumulative wage increase of 29 per cent, an average of more than 4 per cent per year - a real increase over inflation.’’…
It raises the question: why are Australian taxpayers being asked to make sacrifices, via subsidising higher costs, that the local auto-makers and their staff have not themselves been willing to make?’’
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Flannery should explain past dud predictions before whipping up fresh scares

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (9:39am)

Global warming - dud predictions, Global warming - propaganda

Professional alarmist Tim Flannery whips up more fear by exploiting bushfires which he falsely claims were “unusual” and “unprecedented”:

In October, huge bushfires devastated communities, property and livelihoods in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Tragically, two lives were lost. As the Climate Council’s first major report makes clear, our changing climate is increasing the chances of similar events in future.
Yes, bushfires are part of the Australian experience, but large and severe bushfires in October are unusual…
The 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria were also preceded by extreme fire danger conditions: a decade-long drought and a number of record hot years, all compounded by a heatwave in the week prior. The ferocity of these fires was unprecedented, and so severe were they that they broke the record for the Forest Fire Danger Index, and a new category - ‘’catastrophic’’ or ‘’code red’’ - was added.
As I’ve shown several times already, even the 2009 Black Saturday fires were far from our biggest recorded - in 1851.  NSW has had several severe October fires that were bigger and deadlier than this year’s.
What’s more, Flannery claims the NSW fires were the product of unusual heat and dryness:

Hot, dry conditions create conditions favourable for bushfires. Australia has just experienced its hottest 12 months ever recorded.
And, of course, that’s the kind of global warming Flannery was warning of in 2005:

I’M afraid that the science around climate change is firming up fairly quickly . . . we’ve seen just drought, drought, drought, and particularly regions like Sydney and the Warragamba catchment—if you look at the Warragamba catchment figures, since 98 the water has been in virtual freefall, and they’ve got about two years of supply left . . .
Maxine McKew: But. . . we won’t see a return to more normal patterns?
Flannery: . . . they do seem to be of a permanent nature.

In fact, the world hasn’t warmed for 15 years, the fires followed years of good rains which built up fuel load and - incidentally - Warragamba is at 92.6 per cent capacity.
Why do Fairfax newspapers still treat Flannery seriously? Why no fact-checking of his claims?
Here’s a suggestion. Why not ask Flannery for an article explaining this prediction of his from 2008, just brought to my attention by reader Richard:

Just imagine yourself in a world five years from now, when there is no more ice over the Arctic, when we stand under threat of a rapidly warming Arctic Ocean, when we’re starting to see the first destabilisation of the Greenland ice cap, and all of those things happening because we don’t have a solution, because if things advance that rapidly we simply will not have a solution, in terms of reducing emissions. Then you’ve got to start pulling in your last-ditch efforts.
Arctic ice cover five years later:
image
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Not a croc story

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (9:20am)


Rachel Hancock is the first woman to edit the NT News, a paper I used to sell as a boy. People wondered: how would the paper’s culture change? Would Hancock make it less blokey and less obsessed with stories of crocodiles?
The answer is yes. Here is the new feminised NT News, full of compelling reading with not a croc in sight:

image
Love it.
(Via Andrew Landeryou, a sad loss to blogging.) 
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The Left’s hatred risks turning lethal

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (9:18am)

Culture wars, How the Left hates

image
A WORD to the Left. Hasn’t this bastardry gone too far? What do you want: bodies in the street?
Three examples from the past week shocked me.
Example 1. The ABC’s main TV news bulletin in Brisbane last Thursday showed the exterior and street number of the home of Bill Mellor, a decorated former army brigadier, and gave out his suburb.
Mellor’s wife was in tears and police rushed in to secure the house.
The reason? As the ABC report pointed out, Mellor was co-ordinating the Queensland Government’s war against criminal bikie gangs linked to murder, rape, drug trafficking and extortion.
Why on earth did the ABC show bikies the home of the man overseeing the fight against them that has led to nearly 400 arrests? How could his home be relevant to its report?
There may be an innocent explanation involving extreme stupidity, but Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and others, me included, also suspect bias.
(Read full article here.)  
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Would you create a $1.2 billion-a-year ABC today?

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (9:14am)


Boy On A Bike asks for help:

If we lived in a world where the ABC did not exist in 2013 (ie, it had never been created), what reasons could be given for creating an ABC in 2014?
Go ahead, give it your best shot. If Turnbull was asking for $1 billion to create this entity, what arguments would he be making in public for the annual expenditure of this money?
I’ve got my thinking cap on……..can’t think of anything so far. Help me out here.
(Thanks to reader Gab, who is stumped.) 
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But a hot day in June is called global warming

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (9:08am)


image
The next time some warmist spreads panic about a hot day in winter, remember this picture of Thredbo and the summer snow in Victoria:

Snow falling. In Australia. In summer. That is all
(Thanks to reader Viperous.) 
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Column - Mandela’s greatness does not excuse his backing of tyrants and terrorists

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (8:26am)


imageimageimage
MUCH of the sanctimonious grieving for Nelson Mandela is not just a sin against history - but a danger.
It is true Mandela rose to greatness. Freed after 27 years in a South African jail, the anti-apartheid fighter emerged not bent on vengeance but healing.
He negotiated a peaceful end to apartheid, and as the first president of democratic South Africa, preached - and practised - reconciliation. In this he was great. A healer. An inspiration.
For many whites abroad, he seems even Christ-like - someone who’d suffered for the sins of white guilt, and absolved those who believed in him of the sin of racism.
But Mandela was no Christ nor even Gandhi nor Martin Luther King. He was for decades a man of violence.
(Read full article here.)
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If Holden doesn’t want the handout, the handout wouldn’t save it

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (7:48am)


The money might or might not be too much. But why won’t Holden say if it actually wants it?

The Abbott government has confidential documents that show it would cost less than $150 million extra a year to keep Holden in Australia until 2025, says former industry minister Kim Carr…
The claim comes as a dominant group of Coalition ministers says the government can do nothing to keep Holden in Australia, because the company has made up its mind and “doesn’t want to be saved"…
A spokesman said Holden would not “engage in speculation” and refused to say whether it had already decided to leave Australia.
If Holden is pulling out anyway, then Carr’s claim that “just” $150 million more a year would save it is plainly false. 
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An offer too good to refuse

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (7:44am)


Win win:

Mr Bakr was one of at least 20 men whose passports have been cancelled by ASIO on the grounds they were prepared to engage in politically motivated violence or had a ‘’jihadist mentality’’…
Wissam Haddad, a spokesman for the 20 men, said he knew of at least 45 Sydney Muslims who have had their passports cancelled or bank accounts frozen, often without warning or the ability to provide evidence in their defence.
Mr Haddad said the men were so incensed that, if they could, they would leave the country and not return.
‘’...These people are willing to hand in their citizenship and not return if they’re not welcome here.’’
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Defenders of laws against offending people shouldn’t be so offensive. Note well, Mark Leibler

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (7:22am)

Free speech

Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz says those of us wanting to scrap section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 are dishonest:
If people genuinely think it should be legal for Australians to harass others on the basis of race, then they are welcome to make that argument. What’s troubling about the anti-18C campaign is its dishonesty…
But then, being honest about 18C makes it harder to spin the provision as a threat to free speech, and nobody wants to openly defend racial harassment. Do they?
Samuel J rebuts Meyerowitz-Katz’s outrageous smear:

It suggests that those who oppose section 18C are automatically supporters of racial abuse. That is a type of false dilemma.
I support absolute freedom of speech, which is presently best expressed in the United States under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. But I do not support racial abuse.
Meyerowith-Katz cannot comprehend the difference. For him, the State should regulate our conduct and our behaviour. Only someone with a blinker could argue..
Au contraire. Racial abuse of the type covered by section 18C is the province of good manners.
I made a similar argument last week:

Diversity Council of Australia CEO Nareen Young ... tries to scare gays and lesbians into believing the Abbott Government’s planned repeal of parts of the Racial Discrimination Act will unleash a torrent of abuse - and against them, too:

If the RDA is amended to remove section 18C that makes it unlawful to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people because of their race, does that mean that words like ‘wog’, ‘gook’, ‘slope’, ‘kike’ or ‘coon’ become acceptable in the course of the working day or night? What next? Will equivalent sections of the Sex Discrimination Act be repealed so that describing a co-worker as a ‘slut’, ‘hag‘, ‘silly cow‘ or ‘bitch’ is not deemed to be offensive?
It is pretty clear where this could be heading for the LGBTI community....  I mean, really, if ‘Abo’, ‘coon’, ‘dago’ or ‘slope’ are ok, the inevitable question from some quarters will be why are ‘the gays’ being so sensitive?
This is almost as obscene as it is absurd.
No one I know who supports these reforms thinks the insults Young lists are “acceptable”, “OK” or not offensive. What is offensive is the suggestion that this argument about the RDA is about making such insults “OK”. On the contrary, they were not socially acceptable before the law was passed and will not be after.
The truth is that there are many things more powerful - yet more democratic and less chafing - than the law to enforce good manners and I expect they to remain powerful. These are the social sanctions that are present in every healthy community.
The latest line of defence of the RDA is offensive, false and, I suspect, not honest. It is an argument by vilification - reductio ad villainum - which is curious from people claiming we need laws to stop insults.
And again: I believe Jewish community leaders now leading the charge to defend the RDA have seriously misread the lessons of their community’s tragic history. The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, for whom Meyerowitz-Katz speaks, is profoundly wrong about this and is now publicly insulting people it privately supports.
AIJAC chairman Mark Leibler is causing more harm than he realises by sanctioning this vilification of people whose free speech his community and organisation has relied upon. Mark, making me collateral damage in your campaign is something I cannot forgive. 
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Hilton too good for Mike

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (6:55am)


Mike Carlton makes Paris Hilton seem a genius.
And isn’t Mandela a hero for wanting reconciliation? Then why do some of his professed admirers use his name to vilify others? 
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It’s not the principle but the side with The Age

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (6:46am)


Fairfax reporter Jonathan Swan doesn’t report stories from “unnamed sources” because that’s not “stringent journalism”. But when unnamed sources smear a Liberal instead...
UPDATE
In fairness, the piece smearing Peta Credlin on the say-so of “sources” did not originally carry Swan’s byline but that of two other Age reporters. Swan tweets that he contributed only a sourced quote some time later, so he’s off the hook for hypocrisy.  
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Conroy Awards

Andrew Bolt December 09 2013 (6:34am)


Neck Leys hands out the Conroy Media Awards for 2013 for leakers, whingers, main chancers and a man with a glass jaw who had the hide to sool a lawyer onto me, too. 
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If Hanson-Young has a case, Chris Kenny sure does

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092013(4:33pm)

The ABC said it was perfectly entitled to televise a doctored picture of a conservative critic having sex with a dog, under the banner “Chris Kenny, dog f...er”.
But a judge has ruled it’s probably off merely to photoshop the face of a Greens MP onto the body of a bikini model:

In a decision that paves the way for the matter to proceed to a jury trial next year, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum ... said all four of the defamatory imputations claimed by the senator “were capable of being made out"… 

“To say of a politician that he or she is not serious does specify [defamatory] imputation of that politician which is capable of being considered to arise.”

Justice McCallum also said that the publication was “reasonably capable of conveying that, by reason of her pro asylum seeker stance, the plaintiff was justifiably exposed to ridicule”.
I’m actually amazed that Hanson-Young has shown herself to be so censorious, and worried that a judge has given her such comfort. There should be nothing wrong in claiming Hanson-Young is ridiculous and and not serious. In fact, I believe she is as irresponsible and self-regarding as a child.
But the judgment at least sets up a direct comparison on how judges treat a Greens MP and a conservative who have both been mocked by photoshopped images. Although I must say that having your head photoshopped onto a bikini model’s body is infinitely less offensive than being shown sodomising a dog.
If I were the ABC, I’d start preparing an exit strategy.
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Christian Porter gives maiden a speech. Well, a married woman

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092013(4:25pm)

Christian Porter, the former WA Treasurer, is one of the federal Liberals’ finest recruits in the last election. He should have now sewn up the women’s vote with this tribute to his wife in his maiden speech in Parliament today: 
I am perhaps a bit slow to give my wife public compliments. But as Ray Charles said, ‘wake up boy, because a girl like that aint going to wait all night.’ So here is my compliment to my wife…

Jennifer, if I were told that it were within in my power to go back to the 1970s to watch Dennis Lillee bowl again at the WACA, that I could take all my friends, that Sir Isaiah Berlin and Han Solo would be special guests and James Reyne would do an acoustic set during the lunch break, but the one catch was that you couldn’t attend with me, then I wouldn’t bother.
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AWU scandal: magistrate rules Slater & Gordon documents were arguably part of a fraud

Andrew BoltDECEMBER092013(4:08pm)

 The AWU scandal
This scandal was nearly buried - not least by Julia Gillard and her media supporters: 

Magistrate Peter Lauritsen today ruled that lead investigator Ross Mitchell could access 363 documents, seized by a warrant from law firm Slater & Gordon, over which former AWU boss Bruce Wilson claimed privilege…

Mr Wilson is being investigated amid allegations he used the AWU Workplace Reform Association to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from construction giant Thiess and to purchase a house in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.

Mr Wilson was in a long-term relationship with Julia Gillard when she provided legal advice to help to help establish the association while working at Slater & Gordon, later describing it to her employer as a “slush fund’’.

In his ruling, Mr Lauritsen said ...  “The evidence of Blewitt establishes that Thiess was deceived… It believed it was paying for a particular service. The association provided no such service.

“Wilson bought a home with some of Thiess’ payments. Only he knows what happened (to) the rest."…
Money was withdrawn from the fund to purchase the Fitzroy house in Mr Blewitt’s name at a 1993 auction, which Ms Gillard attended with Mr Wilson, who subsequently lived in the property.
Slater & Gordon handled the conveyancing and helped provide finance…
Ms Gillard has denied wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations other than it was a “slush fund’’ for the re-election of union officials.

Mr Wilson has not been charged with any offence and has similarly denied any wrongdoing.
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This is a big deal for Singapore. However unlike the flogging with a wet lettuce they get here in Australia, rioters really will pay for their crime.
Singapore's prime minister has pledged to prosecute individuals involved with an overnight riot in the city-state, which left at least 18 people injured. Lee Hsien Loong said the government would "spare no effort to identify the culprits" of the riot, described as Singapore's worst in more than 40 years. The incident followed the death of an Indian migrant worker. Read full story here:http://aje.me/18vzIYD
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Matt Granz
People sometimes make me pause and wonder. 

It snowed in Yosemite and my friend Darvin Atkeson went there to document and make some fine art out of what he saw. 

His report included that while shooting he heard the sound of stomping feet and witnessed two photographers trashing an area where there had been pristine snow. One said to the other "there, that will keep anyone else from getting this shot!" To which my reply is... Really??? Talk about juvenile, and not respecting nature! I'm glad I wasn't there.... I might have done something equally stupid, such as calling them out very loudly.

Like I said... People sometimes realy cause me to wonder....
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http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/things-your-boss-wont-tell-you/story-e6frfm9r-1226778645440
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http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/what-kind-of-worker-are-you-ask-your-parents/story-e6frfm9r-1226778944451
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http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/scientists-discover-huge-freshwater-reserves-beneath-the-ocean/story-fnjww010-1226778644615
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Anthony Roberts
I am honoured to be the Minister for Resources and Energy, and Special Minister of State in the O'Farrell-Stoner Government.

Thank you to Premier O'Farrell for the opportunity to continue serving the people of our state as part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals team.

I look forward to getting on with the job in this portfolio, one that is crucial to the NSW community and economy.
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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/investigations/magistrate-says-slater-gordon-documents-were-part-of-awu-fraud/story-fng5kxvh-1226778847865
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That said, dealing with the Greens...a long shower with lots of soap-scrubbing is required ASAP. Yikes.>

www.canberratimes.com.au
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/senate-approves-scrapping-of-debt-ceiling-20131209-2z0n9.html
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http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/12/05/how-far-we-havent-come-all-of-the-terrible-ways-the-media-treated-women-in-2013-in-one-video/
Lol, they forgot to include the corrupt and incompetent former Australian PM Julia Gillard. I can understand why the car dealers use 'sex sells' but don't accept that the image they portray is subservient and not sexy. For me, sexy is an Emma Watson asserting herself on her own terms. Miley's recent work just seems sad. I feel it is wrong to attribute misogyny to Hillary's critics .. many of whom applaud Palin. But if you can't criticise a politician for their effort, and need to rely on their looks, as that KFC meme does, and as those Palin critics do, then you've lost. - ed
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David Bowles
<Another compelling article on the dire need for culturally relevant and diverse children's literature.>
mediadiversified.org
Aye, books movies, political positions .. I celebrate cultural diversity. But I despise the bean counting cultural imperialists who would have one believe that rich diversity be balanced with nuanced difference. Let there be those stories where race makes no difference .. it is challenging precisely because the rules of story telling suggest an issue raised should be resolved. - ed===

Here are the 23 MOST ADORABLE puppies of 2013
⇁ http://bit.ly/1aJQgMm
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Aprille Love
Went to hospital. Got an Ecg to monitor my heart beat. Err did I flatline at one point?
Lol, my dad was hooked up after a heart attack. He was lying down, but quite healthy .. and with a humorous glint in his eye said "Watch this" and sat up .. - ed
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www.dailylife.com.au
http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/stop-rewarding-romantic-stalker-behaviour-online-20131208-2yz5e.html
Happy ending .. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11169158
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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/false-outrage-distracts-from-fight-against-real-racism/story-fni0fhh1-1226778152581
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Two school friends, Ellise Hayes, 12 and Gemma Donnelley, 13, thought it was a ‘‘cool’’ idea.

‘‘It’s good. It saves petrol. If you’re home alone you can just order,’’ Ellise said.

‘‘It’s not unhealthy. If you’re fat you shouldn’t [eat it]. But if you’re skinny you should.’’>

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/the-fats-in-the-firing-line-as-mcdonalds-home-delivers-20131207-2yy6s.html#ixzz2mvc9hZ28

  • David Daniel Ball Meh, when the drones begin, they'll be able to despatch breakfast orders too

  • 오사렘 You can already order online through their app & skip queues.

  • John Tran The drones will keep your food heated too..

  • David Daniel Ball .. the drones can prepare it in from of you?

  • John Tran ..state debt recovery drones will humiliate you in front of everyone on the street by announcing you have a 3rd fine outstanding in 2 months.. police drones will issue fines one the spot for J walking and littering..
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Daniel Bufkin
There were 2 Trees in the Garden Of Eden.... The Tree Of Life... and The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good and Evil.... Notice that the wrong tree involves "knowledge" of this world and those things that are considered to be Good and/or Evil.... Knowledge... Learning Of The Mind.... The Feeling Of Needing To "Understand" Is Usually Rooted In Unbelief and Doubt and Especially Fear.... Trying to "understand" is our source of Security instead of God's Love and Faithfulness being our Security.... We Falsely Think That "Controlling Everything and Everybody Around Us Will Bring Security and Happiness"..... But It Never Does..!!! The Right Tree To Eat From Is The Tree Of God's Life.... The Tree Of Life.... Partaking Of "The Life Of God' and Resting In God's Faithfulness and Love.... Learning Spiritual Truth instead of Head Knowledge.... Growing In Spiritual Strength instead of Mental Strength... Learning To ""Walk By Faith and Not By Sight""..!!!
Careful, brother. I want to encourage you, but I most point out that it isn't humble to stand before the Lord and say "I did not eat of that fruit." Instead, we have been blessed through grace. We have *some* knowledge, but not all of it. And we are to use it too, not bury it. My father knows my heart. I might see the devil, but I will hold fast to my father, the Lord. - ed
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funny .. but it ain't global warming - ed
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2503733/Paranoid-android-Cleaning-gadget-switches-moves-kitchen-hotplate-suicide-bid.html
"I know now why you cry. But it is something I cannot do" - ed
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4 her



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ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY  - at rest with Ho Chi Minh .. 
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This and that African Pastor I posted hit home for me today. Tomorrow is the anniversary of my father's death. He hurt me terribly when I was a child, and now I hear these words repeating endlessly "I am not worthy" "I am not love-able" .. but I find solace with the father of all.. ed .. Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin writes "Have you ever wondered what God thinks when he sees you? 

God has a mind of his own which has not been influenced by the people who don’t like you, God’s thoughts about you are not influenced by how you think about yourself, nor has God’s thinking concerning you been prejudiced by how you may have messed up before you came to Christ or how you may have blown it this week? 
When David considered the wonders of God’s creation he was amazed that God was mindful of men, women and children. David was astounded that God cared so much about men, women and children. The simple reason God thinks so much about you is because he loves you and because He loves you so much he is making a fantastic job of making you the best person you can possibly be. 
Here are just few things that God reveals about what he thinks about you and why he thinks that way;
God made you, you are His workmanship - you are wonderfully made
Ps 139:13-14 ...For you created my inmost being.... I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
You are deeply loved Jer 31:3 The LORD...says: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” 

You are not rejected Isa 41:9 “...I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” 
You are precious in God’s sight Is 43:4 … you are precious and honoured in my sight, and …I love you
You are the ‘apple’ of God’s eye Zec 2:8 ...This is what the LORD Almighty says…whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye
You are forgiven Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”You are God’s friend John 15:15 “.... I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” So in all,He loves you so much.God bless you."

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Timothy Ly
Too cool .. can't touch that ..ed===
http://www.buzzfeed.com/bradesposito/xx-realisations-you-make-when-you-get-your-first
The question "Who am I" is good .. it reminds me of Les Miserables .. "I'm John ValJean" - ed
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
PRAY ALONG.
Father,I thank You for the work You are doing in my life. Help me to keep the vision in front of me. Show me where to place my focus. Confirm Your Word with signs following as I stay on the course You have set for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’ (Zechariah 4:7, NKJV)
when Zerubabbel wanted to rebuild the temple, he laid the foundation, but people came against him and forced him to stop. For ten years, no work could be done. Zachariah, the prophet, came by and told him to do something interesting. He said, “Go get the capstone.” The capstone was the stone that was reserved as the final piece of stone for the building. It was symbolic. It represent the finished product. 

Why was it important that he keep the capstone in front of him? Because every time he looked at it, it would remind him that God would finish what he started. When Zerubabbel was tempted to get tired and discouraged, he would go look at that capstone. That was God saying to him, “I’m still on the throne. I’m going to do what I promised. Just stay in faith.” Do you have your capstone in front of you? Do you have something that represents the final piece to your dreams? Keep that vision in front of you. Keep focused on where you are headed. Get the capstone and thank God for His faithfulness to complete the work in you.He will see you through.God bless you.
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You Will Crossover!
Are you at a crossroad of your life where you know what God wants you to do or are you afraid to obey His command? Is God asking you to make a decision yet you are wavering? Or, you already decided and you are excited to take a step of faith. If you are, then I believe this message is for you.Let us open our Bibles to Joshua chapters 3 and 4. We will glean our lessons from their miraculous crossing through the Jordan River.Joshua and the nation of Israel were poised to attack the Promised Land. They waited for this moment for 40 years already. For three days, they were camped near the edge of the Jordan River. Their leaders gave them specific instructions to wait for the Ark of Covenant before moving out. Then, Joshua ordered them: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.” This brings me to our first point: CONSECRATE yourselves.

God commanded Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.” Note the words “Consecrate” and “belongs to me”. There are times we ask God what His will is, like the choice of a mate or career. But He doesn’t answer our prayers because we have no intention of obeying it. If we like His will, if it is to our advantage, we might obey. But if we don’t like it, if we feel it’s hard, we won’t follow. Even before we ask for His will, let us commit ourselves to obey.

There are times we can’t obey His will because we have some sin issues. We want to obey but we are not prepared to obey. Is there a sin or a relationship that we need to deal with so we can be ready to obey the Lord? For the Lord is looking for a clean vessel, not a golden one. 2 Timothy 2:21-22 says, “If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace.” So, let us cleanse ourselves from sin and commit ourselves to obey so we can take the step of faith.Joshua commanded the people to wait for the Ark of the Covenant because, “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.” The Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of the Lord Himself. Moses prayed to the Lord, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send.Now, the priests were standing at the edge of the raging, overflowing river. About 900 meters away, about 2 million Israelites were watching as they wait on what would happen next.

Seriously, at that moment, they decided by faith to OBEY! So, as they hold their breath, the priests took the step. As soon as “their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away… while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” Today,if you cleanse yourself,you can cross any obstacle in your life.There is Power greater than that in the Blood of our Jesus Christ.Let me stop.God bless you.
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Pastor Rick Warren
#PEACE is the second of the 4 Sundays of Advent.#AdventAtSaddleback Join us online!http://bit.ly/1dYPov8
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Watch this POWERFUL MESSAGE by Derwin Gray NOW! http://bit.ly/1dYPov8 It will move you. I'm so proud of my friend. 

RT @DerwinLGray This weekend I'm preaching for my mentor @RickWarren at @Saddleback.
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And the M.E. arms race begins.....http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12/07/hagel-outlines-new-weapons-sale-plan-for-gulf-nations-to-protect-against-iran/?intcmp=obinsite
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http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/12/07/iran-announces-refusal-to-recognize-israel-at-united-nations-session/
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http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/12/08/obama-opposes-israel’s-request-for-iran-nuclear-deal-to-halt-all-enrichment/
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http://newsblaze.com/story/20131208004709nurg.nb/topstory.html
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http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.co.il/2013/12/video-un-israel-and-how-human-rights.html
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May my name be declared upon them, and the names of my forefathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they proliferate abundantly like fish within the Land.
GENESIS (48:16)

וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ
בראשית מ’’ח:ט’’ז
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THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes!!! The best BIRTHDAY and CHRISTMAS gift you can give to me is to "LIKE" all three and please be PRO-ACTIVE on behalf of Israel:

LISTEN to the truth about the Jewish State on "Insight to Israel": 
https://www.facebook.com/InsighttoIsrael

SEND a message to the Israeli Defense Force that we proudly stand with them as they defend the Jewish State by participating in "Hershey's for Heroes":
https://www.facebook.com/HersheysforHeroes

WEAR your support for the IDF this and posting your pics:
https://www.facebook.com/PCSupportIDF

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http://www.scribd.com/doc/188519989/Rubin-v-Cubic-Defense
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Even then .. protecting Democrats at the expense of minorities. - ed
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Hey Everyone 
Nice to meet you. I would like to introduce you to "LBNY Productions"- a New York City-based entertainment agency, producing music concerts of leading Israeli performers across the US. 

This is Our Official FB page: www.facebook.com/lbnyproductions
Please help us spread the word by Liking it & Sharing with your friends. 
Thank you..
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Via Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks

Dear friends please share and forward this excellent letter . (Thank you for forwarding it, Nurit Greenger
The following open letter was sent last month by a British citizen named Mindy Wiesenberg to the U.K. foreign secretary, William Hague. Wiesenberg, a former teacher, has served as chairman of British Emunah, a charity raising funds for social welfare projects in Israel. She is currently on the charity’s executive council.

Dear Mr. Hague,

You have stated that if Israel tries to defend its population through a ground offensive in Gaza, “it risks losing the sympathy of the international community.”

Let me tell you something about the sympathy of the international community, Mr. Hague. My father was liberated from Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945, having lost his entire family, but gaining the sympathy of the international community at the time. After 6 million Jews had been annihilated at the hands of the Nazi regime, the international community had plenty of sympathy for the Jewish people. There is always plenty of sympathy for victims.

Israel doesn’t need the sympathy of the international community.

What it needs is to defend its citizens.

When, as a tiny country, it gained its independence in 1948, it had to absorb 800,000 Jews who were thrown out of Arab lands in the Middle East. It did so without fuss and with dignity, giving them shelter and a place of security in which their children could grow up to become productive citizens.

When Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria tried to destroy Israel in 1948 and again in 1967, they took in hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs.

But did they give them dignity or shelter? No, they left them to rot in refugee camps to maintain a symbol of grievance against Israel and use them as a political tool against the Jewish State. What has arisen in those camps is a complicated situation, but it is what has led to Gaza today.

So don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy, Mr. Hague.

Not when Israel has just sent 120 truckloads of food into Gaza to feed the Palestinian people there, because their own leadership is more interested in using its population as human shields, launching rockets against Israel from within major civilian centers.

Don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy, Mr. Hague.

Not when Israel targets, with as much military precision as it can, only terrorists and their bases, trying its utmost to prevent civilian casualties.

Don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy, Mr. Hague.

Not when the Palestinian media deliberately use images of victims of the Syrian civil war and presents them as casualties in Gaza to gain international sympathy.

Go read your history books, Mr. Hague, go see that since the beginning of the 20th century all the Arabs wanted to do was destroy Israel. Go look at the country of Israel now since the Jews have established a state there. Go read what advances in science, medicine, biotechnology, agriculture and high tech Israel has developed, and dedicated that knowledge to making the world a better place for humanity.

Can you imagine any other country that after over 60 years of continuously being under attack could have achieved so much?

So Mr. Hague, don’t lecture Israel on international sympathy.

Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself from outright attack on its citizens, whether it be from Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or any other country or terrorist group that attacks it.

And if it loses the sympathy of the international community, so be it. We don’t need the international community’s sympathy. We don’t need another 6 million victims.

Yours sincerely,

Mindy Wiesenberg
===

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Because you are a registered member of the United With Israel e-mail list, you are
receiving this advertiser sponsored e-mail. Offers such as today's enable us
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Recognize the Miracles!
Click here to watch: Recognize the Miracles!
We love this musician. Go Lenny!
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Click here to watch: Teaching Girls in Israel to Roar!!
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Released palestinian Arab Terrorist- “We will not regret what we did”
Yet, Obama forces Israel to release these terrorists! Would the USA do that?
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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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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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First computer mouse
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]


Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy."
Revelation 3:4
We may understand this to refer to justification. "They shall walk in white;" that is, they shall enjoy a constant sense of their own justification by faith; they shall understand that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them, that they have all been washed and made whiter than the newly-fallen snow.
Again, it refers to joy and gladness: for white robes were holiday dresses among the Jews. They who have not defiled their garments shall have their faces always bright; they shall understand what Solomon meant when he said "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart. Let thy garments be always white, for God hath accepted thy works." He who is accepted of God shall wear white garments of joy and gladness, while he walks in sweet communion with the Lord Jesus. Whence so many doubts, so much misery, and mourning? It is because so many believers defile their garments with sin and error, and hence they lose the joy of their salvation, and the comfortable fellowship of the Lord Jesus, they do not here below walk in white.
The promise also refers to walking in white before the throne of God. Those who have not defiled their garments here shall most certainly walk in white up yonder, where the white-robed hosts sing perpetual hallelujahs to the Most High. They shall possess joys inconceivable, happiness beyond a dream, bliss which imagination knoweth not, blessedness which even the stretch of desire hath not reached. The "undefiled in the way" shall have all this--not of merit, nor of works, but of grace. They shall walk with Christ in white, for he has made them "worthy." In his sweet company they shall drink of the living fountains of waters.

Evening

"Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor."
Psalm 68:10
All God's gifts are prepared gifts laid up in store for wants foreseen. He anticipates our needs; and out of the fulness which he has treasured up in Christ Jesus, he provides of his goodness for the poor. You may trust him for all the necessities that can occur, for he has infallibly foreknown every one of them. He can say of us in all conditions, "I knew that thou wouldst be this and that." A man goes a journey across the desert, and when he has made a day's advance, and pitched his tent, he discovers that he wants many comforts and necessaries which he has not brought in his baggage. "Ah!" says he, "I did not foresee this: if I had this journey to go again, I should bring these things with me, so necessary to my comfort." But God has marked with prescient eye all the requirements of his poor wandering children, and when those needs occur, supplies are ready. It is goodness which he has prepared for the poor in heart, goodness and goodness only. "My grace is sufficient for thee." "As thy days, so shall thy strength be."
Reader, is your heart heavy this evening? God knew it would be; the comfort which your heart wants is treasured in the sweet assurance of the text. You are poor and needy, but he has thought upon you, and has the exact blessing which you require in store for you. Plead the promise, believe it and obtain its fulfilment. Do you feel that you never were so consciously vile as you are now? Behold, the crimson fountain is open still, with all its former efficacy, to wash your sin away. Never shall you come into such a position that Christ cannot aid you. No pinch shall ever arrive in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ shall not be equal to the emergency, for your history has all been foreknown and provided for in Jesus.
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Today's reading: Daniel 8-10, 3 John 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 8-10

Daniel’s Vision of a Ram and a Goat
1 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me.2 In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven....

Today's New Testament reading: 3 John 1

1 The elder,
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth....
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Nicodemus [Nĭco dē'mus]—innocent blood or victor over the peopleAn elderly and somewhat wealthy Phariseeand a member of the Sanhedrin (John 3:1-97:5019:39 ).

The Man Who Came to Jesus by Night

Whenever Nicodemus is mentioned it is always with the label, “the same that came to Jesus by night.” Why is this master in Israel always spoken of in this way? Was he a coward, afraid of what the fellow-members of the Sanhedrin would say if they saw him seeking out Jesus? We feel that he came by night because it was the best time for both Jesus and himself to have a quiet, uninterrupted conversation about spiritual matters. Nicodemus had been occupied all day with his teaching duties, and Jesus had been active in His out-of-door ministry. Now both could relax and talk through the night. It may be that Nicodemus had such a heart hunger that he could not wait until morning, and so came running to Jesus as soon as he could.
There had been no direct voice from God in Israel for a long time, and here was One whose message carried the stamp of divine authority. So Nicodemus, the cautious enquirer, but a man of spiritual perception (John 3:2), sought out Christ, and listened to one of His remarkable conversational sermons. Nicodemus figures three times in John’s gospel:
He came to Christ (John 3:2 ). This master in Israel confessed Christ to be a Teacher sent from God and heard that in spite of his culture, position and religion, he needed to be born anew by the Spirit of God. His name, meaning “innocent blood,” is suggestive. Nicodemus came to realize that his salvation was dependent upon the shedding of innocent blood (John 3:1416).
He spoke for Christ ( John 7:45-52). As a fair-minded man, Nicodemus, although a disciple at heart and afraid to avow his faith, raised his voice on behalf of Christ as the Sanhedrin devised measures against Him. The rulers were His avowed enemies, and Nicodemus raised a point of order in favor of the One he had learned so much from. Perhaps he should have been more courageous and outspoken on Christ’s behalf. When the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus to death, there was no protest from Nicodemus. It is likely that he absented himself from that fateful meeting.
He honored Christ ( John 19:3940 ). After the death of Christ, ashamed of his cowardice, Nicodemus rendered loving though belated service to Christ. Openly he joined Joseph of Arimathaea, another secret disciple, in preparing Christ’s body for a kingly burial. But the dead cannot appreciate our loving attention. Mary gave her spices to Jesus while He was alive. It is better to give flowers to the living than reserve them for their burial.
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P31Header
Holly Good
December 8, 2011
365 Days of Blessings
Holly Good
"He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured."Colossians 4:12b (NIV)
Inconspicuously wrapped in an envelope sealed with love - it was my most memorable Christmas present ever. In all of my 44 Christmases, I have never received such a treasure as I did a few years ago. It was a gift that provided comfort, peace and joy for 365 days. And I haven't forgotten it.
A simple box buried within the pile of white elephant gifts we were exchanging at our office Christmas celebration. As I opened the gift I had chosen, I read my card out loud:
"Last night as I was wrapping your gift, God put an idea in my heart and I wholeheartedly agreed with Him. If you are the recipient of this gift, not only are you holding a new ornament, but also a promise from me. It will be my privilege and honor to pray for you every day in the coming year. On your good days and bad days, you can rest assured that you are being prayed for by name by me. I love you. Merry Christmas. Love, Melissa"
Tears threatened to spill down my cheeks as I silently stood and hugged my friend. Her written words were an immediate healing balm to my soul. My mouth could not produce the thoughts I was longing to say aloud. I calmly folded my sweet letter and replaced it neatly in the envelope. And smiled.
Someone would be praying for me every day! Without fail. What a gift.
This was something I had never been promised before. Sure, friends will tell me that they will pray for me when I voice a struggle to them. Or someone will call me and tell me that I came to mind that day and they prayed for me. And still others will mention that I am in their prayers. But to have the comfort of a loyal daily prayer warrior was beyond my realm of thinking.
I felt comforted that day.
I also felt encouraged, confident, and optimistic.
But mostly, I felt loved. What a commitment. To me and for me. Every day.
You see, I know the power of prayer. I have experienced healing, growth, miracles and peace through personal prayer, prayer with my family and corporate prayer. I have humbly come to a place where I recognize that I must completely depend on Him daily, and it all begins with prayer.
A prayer filled life is not necessarily a belief that God will do exactly what we ask for, but a trust that He will hear our desires and know what's best for us. A trust that He will lead, guide and direct us as we seek His will. I wholeheartedly rely on this assurance.
I went home from our party that day with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my yearlong gift of prayer. In turn, I committed to also pray for Melissa each day. What a challenging year this has been for her personally - she has needed my daily prayers.
As I think of her with a humble and thankful heart, I can't help but recall the beautiful words in Colossian 4:12b, "He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured."
I will always remember that amazingly selfless gift from my friend Melissa. What a comfort. What a commitment.
What a rare gift of love indeed.
Dear Lord, thank You for friends who love us with Your love. Thank You for faithfully listening to our requests and responding as You see fit. We trust You and love You and honor Your Holy name. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Visit Lysa TerKeurst's blog to post a prayer request for Holly and Lysa. They will pray for you during their early morning run this week.
To connect with Holly today, visit our P31 devotions blog.
To read other writings from Holly please click here.
Application Steps:
Read Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus gave this prayer to His disciples as a model for them. How can you use this prayer, often referred to as the Lord's Prayer, as a model for your daily prayers?
Reflections:
As I spend time with friends and family, I have started to intentionally ask, "How can I pray for you?"
Who will I come across today that you I ask, "How can I pray for you today?"
As I journal my requests, I'll look for God to do a great work.
Power Verses:
Psalm 5:3, "In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation." (NIV)
Psalm 145:18, "The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."
Romans 8:26, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
© 2011 by Holly Good. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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December 8, 2011
How to Have a Joy-Filled Christmas
Part 2
Today's Truth
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I believe the secret to a holy and joy-filled celebration of Christmas is found in giving. It always has been. Are we giving the wrong gifts to the wrong people? Maybe we are not receiving the right gifts with the right attitude. Over the next few days, we will examine several truths about Christmas that will lead us once again to the manger, where we will worship the Christ child and experience a Christmas holiday filled with love, peace and joy.
First truth: We must receive God's gift to us.
Luke 2:8-12 "There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them; and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (NIV)
Second truth: We must give the right gifts to Him.
Christmas is the birthday of Jesus Christ. Yet, we celebrate His birthday by giving gifts to everyone but Him. What gifts does He want from us? What gifts are fit for the King? To answer that question, let's go back to that first Christmas and see what gifts He received that first Christmas night.
The gift of trust
The gift of trust was given to Jesus by Mary, a teenage girl who was engaged to Joseph. I can only imagine what thoughts raced through her mind when an angel appeared to Mary announcing she would give birth to a son named Jesus. I am certain she could not have possibly understood what the angel told her, but she knew the one who sent the angel, and that was enough for Mary. I can almost guarantee you it would not have been enough for me if I had been in her place. After all, she was a virgin and last time I checked, virgins cannot be pregnant. What would Joseph think? Trust shines best in the darkness. Trust is a gift fit for the King.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (NASB).
The gift of obedience
Joseph gave Jesus the gift of obedience. He was betrothed to Mary, and in Jesus' day, a betrothal was legally binding. While engaged, Mary becomes pregnant. Joseph knows he is not the father of this baby because he has never slept with Mary. His first reaction was to divorce Mary quietly, but an angel comes to him and explains that Joseph is to keep her but not sleep with her. Joseph's response could have been many things but he responded with obedience.
John 14:15 (NIV) "If you love me, you will obey what I command."
Obedience is not just an outward action, but an inner attitude. I love the story of the small child who was riding in the front seat of the car. Wanting to be close to his dad, the youngster stood to his feet. Dad said, "Son, please sit down and put on your seat belt." The little boy said, "But dad, I want to stand by you!" It took several attempts but the boy finally sat down. When his father bragged on his obedience, the little boy responded, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I'm still standing on the inside." Obedience is a deliberate choice to do what God wants us to do. Obedience is a gift fit for the King.
The gift of praise
When the shepherds heard the news, they went to see Jesus for themselves. Afterwards, Scripture tells us they went on their way - praising God. Praise is a continual choice we must make again and again until it becomes a habit. A young hippie was sitting on a park bench, reading his Bible when he suddenly began shouting, "Praise God! What a miracle!" A cynic walking by stopped to ask the man why he was so excited. The hippie replied, "I was just reading how God parted the Red Sea and the whole nation of Israel walked on dry ground!" The older man snapped, "That's ridiculous! Don't you know the Red Sea wasn't a real sea at all? It was only a few inches deep." He then turned and walked away. For a moment, the young man was confused and discouraged but it was only minutes until his shouts again filled the air. The unbeliever returned to ask, "What are you shouting about now?" "Well, I just read how God drowned the entire Egyptian army in only six inches of water!" Don't let anyone keep you from praising God. Don't let any circumstance deny you the joy of praise. Praise keeps us kneeling before the manger and is a gift fit for the King.
Psalm 150:6 (NASB) "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."
The gift of sacrifice
The wise men came, bringing gifts that required sacrifice on their part because they knew true worship always involves sacrifice. They brought gold, a precious metal, myrrh, an expensive perfume like Mary later used to wash the feet of Jesus, as well as incense, a rare and expensive product used in worship.
1 Chronicles 21:14 (NCV) "I won't offer a burnt offering that costs me nothing."
Sacrifice goes beyond what is required or expected. The best gift, the most expensive and extravagant gift should go to the one whose birthday we celebrate. This year, give a sacrificial gift in His name.
As the Christmas season approaches, I encourage you to examine your heart and life. What gift does Jesus want from you this year? Is it whole-hearted trust? Is the Father waiting on your willingness to obey before revealing the next step on your journey? Do you live in the gear of attitude and praise? Is He asking you to lay everything down as a sweet-smelling sacrifice unto Him? The best gift we can give Him this year is our heart, soul and mind.
Yesterday, I revised my Christmas list from last year and it occurred to me that the name of Jesus is not on that list. To have a joy-filled Christmas, Jesus Christ must be in the backdrop of every gathering...every preparation... every plan and every holiday celebration. May it be so in our lives this Christmas.
Let's Pray
Father, I celebrate the birth and life of Jesus Christ who is the very reason for the Christmas season. My gift to You this year is me ... every part of my life in full surrender to Your plan and purpose. Please help me keep my eyes firmly fixed on You as I celebrate Christmas this year. May others see the joy and peace only You can give as I honor You on Your birthday.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
Consider the following gifts you can give to Jesus this year. Read and memorize the verses listed below. Record them in your journal. When you are tempted to get side-tracked by the world's materialistic view of Christmas, remember the gifts that are fit for the King.
Gift of trust
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB) "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Gift of obedience
John 14:15 (NIV) "If you love me, you will obey what I command."
Gift of praise
Psalm 150:6 (NASB) "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."
Gift of sacrifice
1 Chronicles 21:14 (ICB) "I won't give an offering that costs me nothing."
More from the Girlfriends
No matter what your circumstances may be, you can celebrate the Christmas holidays because God is with you, girlfriend. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook - or throughemail.
Don't miss the biggest sale of the year going on in Mary'sonline store December 1 - 15! Great savings on Books,CDs,MP3 downloadsE-Bible Studies and Video downloads . Every order is also an automatic entry to win one of three copies of Girlfriends in God's first devotional book, Trusting God.Winners will be announced on December 15.
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
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The Lights Come On!
"Very few things bring a pastor more joy than seeing the spiritual "light bulb" go off right in front of you from a member of the congregation. Seeing folks capture what God is up to and just how much he wants to be in a relationship with them and how much it cost him to provide the way - that's where it's at...
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The Story is helping people everywhere experience Scripture like never before. Carefully selected verses from the Bible are organized chronologically. From Genesis to Revelation, you will come to understand God's story and your story intersect with it.
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Jesus Stands Before Pilate

Our God is a God of justice (Deut. 10:18 ) and is angered any time justice is not done. We likewise must be moved to work for justice, and being reminded that Rome did not deal with Jesus righteously should make us hate injustice all the more. We should be doing all we can to make sure justice is done, and some ways we can do so in our communities is by voting for honest judges and politicians and supporting ministries that work to extend justice to the unborn.
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 
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Jesus Stands Before Pilate

Matthew 27:11-23 "Pilate said to them, 'Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?' They all said, 'Let him be crucified!'" (v. 22).
Our study of Matthew's gospel has highlighted the opposition of Israel's leaders to Jesus (Matt. 2:16-1812:22-3216:1-4;22:15-46 ). This hatred is seen most clearly in Christ's trial and execution. Having had Jesus betrayed into their hands, the high priest Caiaphas and the other religious authorities have falsely convicted our Lord of blasphemy, a capital crime according to the Mosaic code (Matt. 26:47-6827:1; see Lev. 24:16 ). Since Rome does not allow the Jewish leaders to enforce the death penalty, Jesus is taken before Pontius Pilate (Matt. 27:2), and we find ourselves in his court today as we return to Matthew.
To understand why Pilate finally condemns Jesus to death, we need to know something of Pilate's character and his relationship with Israel. From his appointment as governor of Judea (circa AD 26), Pontius Pilate has shown little but contempt for his Jewish subjects, raiding the temple treasury to finance the construction of an aqueduct and even murdering some Galileans while they offered sacrifices (Luke 13:1). As such, Pilate will not be moved to kill Jesus simply because Jesus violates the Sanhedrin's religious sensibilities. In fact, Pilate's hatred for the Sanhedrin is well-known.
Therefore, the Jewish leaders do not charge Jesus with blasphemy before Pilate's bench; rather, they accuse our Lord of claiming to be "King of the Jews" ( Matt. 27:11-12). In riot-prone Judea, this is the best way to convince Pilate that Jesus must die, for the Roman authorities will do nearly anything to prevent uprisings against the Empire. Pilate, however, is not convinced that Jesus is guilty. After all, he does not immediately deliver Jesus to be crucified, but offers to the gathered crowd the chance to have Him released (vv. 15-17 ). Most commentators believe that Pilate knows of the popular acclaim surrounding this Jesus and thinks that the crowd will call for His release. In offering Jesus to the crowd, the governor is attempting to set the populace against the Sanhedrin.
Ever the politician, Pilate will not do the right thing and acquit our Redeemer based on the flimsy case against Him. To preserve the peace he will put the innocent to death (v. 26), becoming an infamous character in world history.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Our God is a God of justice ( Deut. 10:18) and is angered any time justice is not done. We likewise must be moved to work for justice, and being reminded that Rome did not deal with Jesus righteously should make us hate injustice all the more. We should be doing all we can to make sure justice is done, and some ways we can do so in our communities is by voting for honest judges and politicians and supporting ministries that work to extend justice to the unborn.
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. 
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Thank you for subscribing to our email devotions! Although we may not know you personally, we highly value you, pray for you regularly and honor the trust you place in us.

We wanted to invite you to celebrate with us the amazing ways God has impacted countless lives through Proverbs 31 Ministries this past year. Although you may only see our devotions,there is so much more! Here are a few ways we are reaching women around the world:
Encouragement for Today devotions reach over 500,000 readers. Additionally, our P31 Woman magazine brings a godly woman's perspective to 7,000 homes each month.
Over 3,000 people prayed to receive Christ through our website and events this past year! In the same year, our staff has prayed for and responded to over 8,000 prayer requests.
Over 1,400 radio outlets now carry our one-minute message around the world. We connect over 100,000 women to God, His Word and each other through Facebook daily.

Every day we hear from women whose lives and legacies are being changed.
Here's one recent note we received:
I want to thank you so much for this devotional and especially for the posts. I have been contemplating suicide and I prayed for a miracle—read the devotional and saw the link to this blog. You don't know how much you guys have helped me. Thanks a lot.
As we look to 2012, we sense God calling us to do even more. Our desire is to lead more women to Christ, while equipping and encouraging them to be all God created them to be as women, wives, moms, neighbors, friends and leaders in their own families and communities! 

As we plan for the future ministry needs, we need to prepare for growth. We are thankful for our humble material resources, but they are outdated and insufficient for the work we have. Every day we pray for our phones and computers to keep working.

Will you invest with us in the operational and practical side of our ministry, so that we may continue to bring the hope of Christ to millions of women around the world? Your donation, big or small, will make an eternal difference.
Thank you!

In Christ's Love,

Lysa Terkeurst, LeAnnn Rice and Renee Swope
Executive Leadership Team, Proverbs 31 Ministries


Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Matthews, NC 28105
877-P31-HOME (877-731-4663)

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God's Story, Your Story
The story of the birth of Jesus is about the God of the universe taking on flesh and blood and making his dwelling among normal people, people just like you and me.

Mary and Joseph weren’t rich or powerful, they weren’t on the covers of magazines or known in the royal courts. They were normal, they were ordinary; hard working, callused, and tired.

But when Jesus enters the world, he comes to normal people, on a normal day, in a small normal town – because he came to save not just the powerful (though he came for them too), he came for us all.

The Word became flesh, the creator of all the universe entered into creation as a baby, and this child who would be raised by two ordinary people, brought God’s saving work to its climax.

God writes his story through normal people, people like us, and through them he changes the world.
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My Most Memorable Christmas
By Catherine Marshall. Marshall (1914 - 1983) was a noted Christian writer perhaps best known for her novel Christy.

We spent Christmas 1960 at Evergreen Farm in Lincoln, Virginia--the home of my parents. With us were my sister and her husband--Emmy and Harlow Hoskins--and their two girls, Lynn and Winifred. It meant a typical family occasion with our three children, Linda, Chester, and Jeffrey, along with Peter John who was then a senior at Yale. Five children can make an old farmhouse ring with the yuletide spirit.

For our Christmas Eve service, Lynn and Linda had prepared an improvised altar before the living room fireplace. Jeffrey and Winifred (the youngest grandchildren) lighted all the candles. Then with all of his family gathered around him, my father read Luke’s incomparable account of the first Christmas. There was carol singing, with Chester and Winifred singing a duet, "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," in their high, piping voices. Then my mother, the storyteller of the family, gave us an old favorite, "Why the Chimes Rang." She made us see the ragged little boy creeping up that long cathedral aisle and slipping his gift onto the altar.

Then she said, "You know, I’d like to make a suggestion to the family. The floor underneath the tree in the den is piled high with gifts we’re giving to one another. But we’re celebrating Christ’s birthday, not each other’s. This is His time of year. What are we going to give to Jesus?"

The room began to hum with voices, comparing notes. But Mother went on, "Let’s think about it for a few moments. Then we’ll go around the circle and each of us will tell what gift he will lay on the altar for Christ’s birthday."

Chester, age seven, crept close to his father for a whispered consultation. Then he said shyly, "What I’d like to give Jesus this year is not to lose my temper anymore."

Jeffrey, age four, who had been slow in night training, was delightfully specific. "I’ll give Him my diapers."

Winifred said softly that she was going to give Jesus good grades in school. Lynn’s was, "To be a better father, which means a gift of more patience."

And so it went... on around the group. Peter John’s was short but significant. “What I want to give to Christ is a more dedicated life.” I was to remember that statement five years later at the moment of his ordination into the Presbyterian ministry when he stood so straight and so tall and answered so resoundingly, "I do so believe.... I do so promise...." Yet at Christmas time, 1960, the ministry was probably the last thing he expected to get into.

Then it was my father’s turn. "I certainly don’t want to inject too solemn a note into this,” he said, “but somehow I know that this is the last Christmas I’ll be sitting in this room with my family gathered around me like this."

We gasped and protested, but he would not be stopped. "No, I so much want to say this. I’ve had a most wonderful life. Long, long ago I gave my life to Christ. Though I’ve tried to serve Him, I’ve failed Him often. But He has blessed me with great riches--especially my family. I want to say this while you’re all here. I may not have another chance. Even after I go on into the next life, I’ll still be with you. And, of course, I’ll be waiting for each one of you there."

There was love in his brown eyes--and tears in ours. No one said anything for a moment. Time seemed to stand still in the quiet room. Firelight and candlelight played on the children’s faces as they looked at their grandfather, trying to grasp what he was saying. The fragrance of balsam and cedar was in the air. The old windowpanes reflected back the red glow of Christmas lights.

Father did leave this world four months later--on May first. His passing was like a benediction. It happened one afternoon as he sat quietly in a chair in the little village post office talking to some of his friends. His heart just stopped beating. That Christmas Eve he had known with a strange sureness that the time was close.

Every time I think of Father now, I can see that scene in the living room--like a jewel of a moment set in the ordinary moments that make up our days. For that brief time real values came clearly into focus: Father’s gratitude for life; Mother’s strong faith; my husband’s quiet strength; my son’s inner yearning momentarily shining through blurred youthful ambitions; the eager faces of children groping toward understanding and truth; the reality of the love of God as our thoughts focused on Him whose birth we were commemorating.

It was my most memorable Christmas.

Family Moment

Think of all the memories we’ve had as a family during Christmas through the years. What memories do you count as the best? Why?

How could this family make our memories even sweeter than they already are?

An Advent Prayer

Father God, show us how precious each family member is this season. Teach us to number our days so that we might honor you and love others. Give us anew appreciation of how unique and beloved each of us is to the others. Amid the things that bother us the most, let us not lose sight that you have made this family what it is. Help us rest in your wonderful plan that we should go through life together for all of the days we have breath. We’re grateful, and our hearts are filled with love for you and each other. Amen.

Today's Advent reading is from 25 Days of Christmas by Greg Johnson. Greg Johnson is the author of more than 20 books. He is President of WordServe Literary Group, a Denver-based literary agency that serves more than 100 authors (www.wordserveliterary.com).
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Today's Advent reading is taken from:25 Days of Christmas
by Greg Johnson

A classic Christmas devotional that brings together stories, devotional readings, scripture passages and prayers in a delightfully illustrated format.
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FRB-Christmas-Story-BookCover-SmallReading 3: A Child is Born

This passage is another part of the prophecy Isaiah gave to Ahaz, the king of Judah. The Assyrian Empire was threatening to take over the lands that surrounded it. Isaiah warned the people about the destruction that was to come to Judah. God’s nation, it appeared, would be torn down, but it would not be dead forever. Isaiah’s prophecy is not only about his own time but also about a time far in the future.

Isaiah 9:1-7 
To Us a Child Is Born
1 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan--
2 The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.
3 You have enlarged the nation
and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest,
as men rejoice
when dividing the plunder.
4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor.
5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle
and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
will be fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
Further Study
JUST THE FACTS
  1. What event was coming? (v. 6)
  2. What are some of the names this special child would have? (v. 6)
  3. How long would this king reign? (v. 7)
LET’S TALK
  1. What is it like when everything is dark? What about when someone turns on a light? How does this news bring people out of “darkness” and into “light” (v. 2)?
  2. This child would have several names. What does each of them mean to you? Discuss each one.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Though God’s people were facing a frightening enemy, God did not let them face the enemy without a message of hope for a glorious future--a time when they would live in peace, prosperity and joy.
POINTS OF INTEREST
9:1 The land of the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali became the land of Galilee. When Jesus began his public ministry in Galilee, he fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy recorded in verses 1 - 2.
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Family Reading BibleToday's reading is from:The Family Reading Bible 

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How Did Jesus Affirm His Power Over Life and Death?

Today's reading: Mark 5:21-43
Jesus performed many stunning miracles during his ministry; resurrecting the dead was among his most astounding. Mark 5 recounts the occasion when Jesus brought a dead child back to life in front of her parents and his three closest disciples (see also Luke 8:49-56).
The fact that the girl was indeed dead is evident from the people's reaction when Jesus claimed she was only sleeping. Unaware of Jesus' divine power, they laughed at him, since it was clear to them that she would never "wake up." Despite their disbelief, Jesus brought the little girl back to life.
God alone holds the power over life and death, thus Jesus' use of this power provides evidence that he has the same authority as God the Father. Jesus' resurrection of this little girl highlights his authority, his identity and his power to give life-whether physical or spiritual-to those who believe.
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Today's reading is from theThe Case for Christ Study Bible
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Investigate the Bible's most compelling claims: the existence of a compassionate God and the promise of eternal life through His Son, Jesus.


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Faithless vs. Unfaithful

This week's reading: Jeremiah 3:6-20
Two words for wanderers: faithless and unfaithful.
The faithless people of Israel forgot their first love. They lost their passion for service. Though they had once enjoyed a close relationship with their Maker, they turned from him, rejecting truths they had once held dear. And so they struggled just beyond the safe harbor, battered by the seas of uncertainty.
Unfaithful Judah, by contrast, knew the truth but denied its footing in the nation's heart. An unfaithful man may say that he's on God's side, but his actions, words and priorities prove otherwise. By God's measure, an unfaithful person ranks with a traitor-wicked and treacherous. Why? Because he mocks the very relationship he pretends to honor. Simply put, he pretends to be a believer, while deep down he's a phony.
For the unfaithful, faking love for God can become an addiction. We all know people who have all the right moves. At church they pray with impressive sincerity, but at home they shred their spouses with cruel comments. This inconsistency is like a ten-foot-long fingernail screeching across God's chalkboard. It grates on the soul.
The unfaithful float through life, sinning without shame. They're in the most dangerous place imaginable. They hang in the balance. Unless they reestablish their bond with God, replacing showiness with sincerity, they will be damned.
The faithless and the unfaithful-the Bible holds out hope for both. For the former, however, the journey to the Savior seems shorter, more direct. Sometimes faithless men can learn to trust more by admitting their doubt. Slipping away from the mark and sliding back from the goal are synonyms for faithless. The remedy is simple: Return to the Lord.
Contrast that with the unfaithful person. He pretends his life is sewn up tight while he's busy yanking out the stitches with his own hands.
If you think either template fits your life, stop your wandering. Come back to your God and King.

To Take Away

  • Would you rather be the faithless man or the unfaithful man? Why?
  • Do you know any faithless or unfaithful men? How can you offer them encouragement?
  • What people or circumstances cause you to wander away from Jesus? What practical steps can you take to protect yourself from these stumbling blocks?
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New Men's Devotional BibleToday's reading is from theNew Men's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan


The New Men's Devotional Biblehelps apply God's Word to a new generation of Christian men. It includes a full year of all-new devotions by well-known and not-so-well-known men of God.


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A Christmas Devotional

MANGER

She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. -Luke 2:7
Where is the first place a baby is placed after it emerges from the mother's womb? Today we use hyper-sterilized blankets and sanitized cribs. A Plexiglas dome, if necessary. All precautions go toward minimizing the germs the child may come into contact with.
But Mary laid Jesus in the feeding trough for an animal. The Good Shepherd took refuge that night in the sheep's manger, and when the shepherds came to see what was announced to them, how stunned they must have been.
Of course, this would not have been Mary and Joseph's first choice. They would have preferred a modest room at a local inn, had there been any vacancy. If it all took place today, maybe a red neon light would have flashed a big "NO" that made a ghastly pool of light on the asphalt of the parking lot.
There are times when "no" is the hardest thing we have to hear. Yet Jesus has seen and continues to see the "no" sign from the very human race he had a hand in creating. Many don't even want to consider him. Even in the life of a faithful believer, there is so much in us that wants to say to him, Stay out of that part of my life; keep that door closed; no, you may not spend the night.
So instead, he stays where he can. A feeding trough will do. Not protected from the world, but lying in it.
Prayer for today:
Lord, make way in my heart and mind for you today. Unlock every door. Open the most valued places. Don't let me try to exclude you from any part of my life.
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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.
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