Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sat Dec 7th Todays News

Mike Carlton often gets things wrong, but as with the political execution of Greiner, that is all that is needed to be successful in pulling down a conservative leader. Wikipedia calls Carlton's lies 'criticism.' To understand Carlton, is to know he did not go to university. He isn't that bright. He gets away with things, because he doesn't understand what he should have done. Carlton was a cadet journalist for the ABC in 1963, age seventeen. He has even been sacked by Sydney Morning Herald, being that unreliable. They hired him back .. for being able to make up attacks on conservatives, he is reliable. But his figures are rubbery. Getting back to it, Cameron should have called for Arafat's death. But he didn't do that either. 
ABC seem keen to threaten public servants who are effective in fighting crime. They have revealed the location of the home of a person leading the fight against organised crime. One hopes that the ABC News division is part of that target circle. When asked about their decision, ABC blustered, and retroactively obscured some details. One can understand the ABC's antagonism, however, as the spouse of the crime fighter is not the same gender as the crime fighter. ABC apparently stands for Anyone but Conservatives. 
Finally, we know why Electoral Office in WA lost votes. It isn't corruption. It is incompetence. Reform of the process, allowing online voting, is possible. And cheaper. As well, removing the stupid laws restricting free speech would not harm minorities. Despite fear mongering. Were there gay marriage in NSW, I would not feel compelled to marry a man. Were there free speech, I still would not feel the need to be crude.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns to those born on this day, along with
Matches
Despatches
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MISTAKEN MIKE

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 07, 2013 (5:48pm)

SMH veteran Mike Carlton republishes a claim that British Prime Minister David Cameron once sought Nelson Mandela’s execution:

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One small problem: it isn’t true. Carlton has form when it comes to weak research.
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AUSTRALIAN BIKIE CORPORATION

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 07, 2013 (4:15pm)

For no good reason at all, the ABC reveals the location of a crime fighter’s house: 
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has accused the ABC of “flippant and irresponsible” coverage of the government’s war on bikie gangs after it broadcast pictures of the house of the man co-ordinating the government’s campaign, and named the suburb and house number. 
Andrew Bolt summarises: 
The ABC thinks nothing of publishing spying secrets which cause great harm for no gain, but which put pressure on a Liberal prime minister. Now the ABC thinks nothing of showing where a crime fighter and his family live, again potentially causing great harm for no gain, but putting pressure on a Liberal National Party leader.
And this from an ABC which goes ballistic when a newspaper merely reveals how much taxpayers are paying its top stars. 
By contrast, note how properly cautious is this ABC staffer not to expose his precise address: 
When the time came to downsize after 15 years in the large family home in leafy Hawthorn, Radio National presenter and author Jonathan Green and his wife, publisher Sally Heath, were keen for something smaller, closer to the city. 
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THE MADIBA TEST

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 07, 2013 (5:13am)

Those who refer to Nelson Mandela by his clan name of Madiba are fantastic poseurs.
UPDATE. Meredith Burgmann
I had long thought about what I would say to Madiba if I was ever to meet him. 
My son and I were home in Nashville; the only ones awake early on a Sunday morning. We sat on the couch and watched as Madiba was set free. 
A free South Africa at peace with itself. That’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation that he loved. 
UPDATE II. From the Financial Times
Desmond Tutu, his friend and fellow Nobel peace laureate, was one of the first to question the world’s sanctification of “Madiba” – his clan name and how he liked to be known. Archbishop Tutu appreciated long before it became a commonplace that the cult of Mandela risked blinding people to the colossal problems facing South Africa. “He is only one pebble on the beach, one of thousands,” he said halfway through Mandela’s term in office. “Not an insignificant pebble, I’ll grant you that, but a pebble all the same.” 
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Stuff-up, not conspiracy in WA vote. An apology from Palmer?

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (9:32am)


It all seems a bit slack, although not the conspiracy that Clive Palmer recklessly claimed - a slur for which he should apologise:

ELECTORAL Commissioner Ed Killesteyn is under pressure to resign after a strongly worded report by former AFP commissioner Mick Keelty lashed “parlous” arrangements that led to the loss of 1375 Senate ballot papers from Western Australia..
Mr Keelty condemned a “loose planning culture” and a “complacent attitude towards ballot papers”, along with a “lack of detail . . . in the planning and conduct of operations in WA"…
“The loss of the ballots was in all probability the result of a chain of seemingly minor but entirely and easily avoidable errors and omissions.
“Each of these events on its own may or may not have been significant; but taken as a whole they indicate a loose electoral environment in WA in which the loss of ballots was more likely to occur and less likely to be detected.”
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Anyone But Conservatives for breakfast

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (7:21am)


Would it really kill Fran Kelly - or the ABC - to let a conservative share her taxpayer-funded pulpit?
UPDATE
Roger Franklin checks the ABC’s charter line-by-line against its performance and wonders who is actually minding the shop.
A must read. You’ll want to sign the petition afterwards.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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The rise of the modern savage

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (7:02am)


I suspect we have been in denial about a feral culture, made more primitive by the social freedoms demanded by the strong:

In July last year, locals in a quiet valley in south-western NSW were startled to see three police four-wheel drives, a police bus and an ambulance bouncing up an old stock route towards a remote timbered block, tucked away from the road.
Police and child protection officers left with 12 children under the age of 16 in what is shaping as one of the most serious child abuse cases in Australia.
The children were malnourished, filthy, could barely talk, had appalling hygiene and had been living without electricity and running water. What emerged is a truly horrific case of child sex abuse and intergenerational incest. As the royal commission on child abuse within institutions gets under way, the events at this farm highlight what many say is a far more serious threat to children: sexual abuse within the family.
Read on, but not if you are squeamish. 
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Scaring gays into giving up their free speech

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (5:39am)

Free speech

Diversity Council of Australia CEO Nareen Young has no faith in freedom - or in her fellow citizens:

To be clear, I support free speech. I support the right of everyone – in print, in art, in public demonstration and specifically, in public life – to express opinions and participate in community debate. But…
But she doesn’t. Ah, the yes-but argument of the modern Leftist, who badly wants a medal for being a defender of free speech even when they want to ban it. They want to be hailed as virtuous while sinning.
Like so many modern Leftists, Young has inordinate faith in process and in laws administered by a caste of people just like her for the molding of people not like her. These restrictions are actually called “protections”, even though they involve not protecting your rights but removing them. As I say, the Left want to the virtues due to libertarians even as they act as authoritarians:
These protections have their legal basis in the various Acts of the Human Rights Commission (and in their state-based equivalents) that protect all of us from being victims of discrimination and harassment at work.
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.
Take some recent examples. There is no clear law against calling a female Prime Minister a witch. But see what happened when one protester at a rally against the carbon tax did just that. Fellow protesters told him to remove his sign, which was condemned in Parliament and in countless newspaper articles, TV reports and radio broadcasts. I attacked it, too, and it’s remarkable how rarely similar signs appeared at later rallies.
That collective disapproval of the sign had a far greater effect than a prosecution under the law would have achieved. Had the man with the sign instead been charged the would have become - rightly - a martyr and other citizens would have been absolved of their duty to speak out and robbed of their power to pass judgment. The state would have nationalised morality. The public would have turned from jurors to subjects.
I don’t think that is healthy - and that is without considering the danger of such laws against free speech of the kind Young defends. Do we really trust judges and the political class with a power that lets them impose their particular and sometimes arbitrary sense of morality on everyone else, deciding which of their favorites may speak and which of their bete noirs must be silenced? In this way does a democracy become dictatorial.
No, gays and lesbians have nothing to lose but their chains in this debate. No horde of gay-haters would suddenly feel freer to vilify - and nor would the rest of us be any slower to fight back. Manners, after all, are for us all to defend and decide. All respect to Young, but I’d rather leave that work to the many us than limit it to the few of her.
UPDATE
Tim Wilson makes some highly relevant points in urging other gays and lesbians to stand up for free speech:
Section 18C represents ‘special’ rights for a certain group of people, not ‘equal’ rights.
The simple reality is that some individuals from different cultural, ethnic or national backgrounds don’t accept people being same-sex attracted, and make it known. If section 18C is allowed to stand they can throw hostile verbal bombs at LGBTI Australians, but retreat to the protections of 18C should LGBTI Australians respond.
Fourth, it fundamentally undermines the human right to free speech… Arguably the most important [right] is free speech, because it is necessary to protect all other human rights… We should preserve the right to speak out, mock them and ridicule them for the stupidity of their comments or the hate in their heart…
As LGBTI Australians know: haters gonna hate. So we should defend our human right to speak out, defend ourselves and ridicule narrow-mindedness without fear.
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No Government should help an SPC Ardmona that will not help itself

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (5:26am)


I share Grace Collier’s surprise:
INDUSTRY Minister Ian Macfarlane made an incomprehensible decision this week. After talks with Coca-Cola Amatil, a taxpayer-funded three-person panel was created to advise on a request from SPC Ardmona for assistance. The panel’s charter includes “workplace practices, productivity” and “product range”.
Labor Party heavy and former ACTU secretary Greg Combet is one of the appointees - he is going to advise on enterprise bargains with the unions. No doubt Combet will arrange the visuals of chastened unions announcing Holden-style faux pay cuts as the precursor to subsidies…
Macfarlane foresees the panel helping with other distressed businesses such as Simplot…
The union movement must be laughing its head off…
Enterprise bargaining is the main reason that Holden, Toyota, Simplot and SPC Ardmona are in strife. These companies seek government subsidies because they need money for the inflated wages and conditions they have agreed to pay but cannot afford… Government policy on industry assistance should be this: if a company is paying its workforce more than the award wage, then it must not receive taxpayer assistance under any circumstances.
As for a Coalition government hiring Greg Combet…
UPDATE
Terry McCrann on another failing business paying high wages which also wants more government help:

Whatever else happens, Qantas’s international business is ultimately unsustainable… None of this denies the two sets of burdens imposed on Qantas. Its uneconomic operational cost structure, courtesy of the burdens of national carrier and domestic residence, and the Qantas Sale Act limitations on its shareholdings…
In sum and in short, the Qantas Sale Act limitations should go. Qantas international with them.
Jetstar becomes our Australia-Qantas national carrier… Qantas and Virgin can then be left to go at each other in the domestic market.
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There was no deal, Demetriou said. The charges weren’t dropped

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (5:19am)


I really don’t see how Andrew Demetriou’s word can be taken seriously again with a record like this, and I suggest he won’t stay much longer as head of the AFL. 
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Warmists slapped with a cold sardine

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (4:53am)

Global warming - general

image
Cold sardines? This isn’t what warming alarmists were expecting. The New Scientist reports:
Western Canada’s sardine fleet returned with no fish this month. The loss of the fishery, normally worth CAN$32 million (US$30.7 million), took many by surprise..
Pacific sardine populations fluctuate with water temperature. Colder water means fewer fish. Temperatures last fell in the 1940s, but heavy fishing continued, devastating the stock and ending fishing until sardines returned when waters warmed in the 1980s.
“We think this is set to happen again,” says Zwolinski, who tracked the population over the past century. He found that sardines have reproduced less since waters cooled in the 1990s.
As far south as California the fishermen are complaining of cold water:

Federal fisheries managers slashed upcoming West Coast sardine harvests by two-thirds while scientists try to get a better handle on indications the population is significantly dwindling… Populations typically drop when ocean temperatures get colder, as they have lately in conjunction with a climatic condition known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
A bit of warming would do food supplies the world of good.
UPDATE
Michael Fumento in the New York Post:
The 2013 [US] hurricane season just ended as one of the five quietest years since 1960. But don’t expect anyone who pointed to last year’s hurricanes as “proof” of the need to act against global warming to apologize; the warmists don’t work that way.
Warmist claims of a severe increase in hurricane activity go back to 2005 and Hurricane Katrina. The cover of Al Gore’s 2009 book, “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis,” even features a satellite image of the globe with four major hurricanes superimposed.
Yet the evidence to the contrary was there all along. Back in 2005 I and others reviewed the entire hurricane record, which goes back over a century, and found no increase of any kind.
(Thanks to reader Jono and others.)  
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ABC first reveals spy secrets, now shows where crime fighter lives

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (4:37am)


I covered this yesterday, and still can’t believe it actually happened:
QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has accused the ABC of “flippant and irresponsible” coverage of the government’s war on bikie gangs after it broadcast pictures of the house of the man co-ordinating the government’s campaign, and named the suburb and house number.
After the ABC report on the 7pm news on Thursday night about the appointment of former military officer Bill Mellor to head the government’s anti-bikie Strategic Monitoring Team, Mr Newman ...  contacted [ABC boss Mark] Scott directly and he also wrote to Tony Abbott on the matter, claiming in his letter to the Prime Minister that the ABC broadcast “seriously and maliciously undermined the security and safety of a Queensland government employee”.
“The reprehensible actions of ABC employees involved in this incident brought Mrs Mellor to tears and sparked a swift review of the family’s personal security arrangements, including a decision by the Commissioner of Police to immediately provide police protection,” the letter says. “There can be no justification, especially given the ABC’s Code of Practice 2013, for broadcasting details and images of his residence.
“The response that local ABC has provided to this issue underscores my view that they are treating government, police and crime agency concerns about criminal gang activity in a flippant and irresponsible manner.”
By late yesterday the ABC had written back to both Mr Newman and Mr Mellor, and said in the letter they regretted the footage that identified Mr Mellor’s house.
How could Mellor’s address and footage of his house have been remotely relevant in the first place? Do stories about the ABC come with pictures of Mark Scott’s home, street number included? And how much more insane is the ABC’s report when its subject - correction, target - is coordinating a fight against bikie gangs?
There is a pattern here. The ABC thinks nothing of publishing spying secrets which cause great harm for no gain, but which put pressure on a Liberal prime minister. Now the ABC thinks nothing of showing where a crime fighter and his family live, again potentially causing great harm for no gain, but putting pressure on a Liberal National Party leader.
And this from an ABC which goes ballistic when a newspaper merely reveals how much taxpayers are paying its top stars.
The ABC is out of control. 
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In defence of Peta Credlin

Andrew Bolt December 07 2013 (4:14am)


I am not saying all the criticisms of Peta Credlin - or, more properly, the very narrow concentration of power and advice in the Prime Minister’s office - are wrong. I’ve said plenty on 2GB about this myself this week.
But Peter van Onselen is right: many of those criticisms are over the top or unbalanced:

SINCE the Coalition was elected to government, criticisms of Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, have come thick and fast.
Disgruntled MPs upset with demotion (or a lack of promotion) have blamed her. Frontbenchers and backbenchers alike who have had staffing selections knocked back by the infamous “star chamber” have criticised Credlin’s “controlling” ways…
... the criticisms of Credlin should be more accurately targeted at the elected MPs (especially ministers) who either put forward poor suggestions in the first place, or lack the resolve to argue their case to win the day…
Much has been made of Senate leader Eric Abetz failing to win support for his chief of staff in opposition (and long-time senior adviser throughout the Howard years), Chris Fryer, becoming chief of staff in government.... If Abetz seriously believed Fryer should have been appointed, as the third most-senior member of the government he needed to insist on the appointment being made.
That’s what Health Minister Peter Dutton did ..

Before becoming opposition leader, Abbott was well known for his ill-discipline… Credlin’s arrival in Abbott’s political life changed that...
I have no problem with a Prime Minister wanting to vet senior staff appointments. I agree this process may undermine the authority of ministers who deserve to be trusted and it should not be quite this draconian. But, then again, I was surprised by one minister’s choice of a very senior staffer, and think the government was well served by the committee - including Credlin - which knocked it back. 
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ABC out of control: now showing where a Liberal-appointed crime-fighter lives

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:46pm)


The ABC is now lured by its partisan politics into sheer bastardry, showing on TV the home of the man picked by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to fight criminal bikie gangs.
Here’s how the story unfolds.
Newman appoints a man he served under at Duntroon 31 years ago:

Brigadier Bill Mellor is a “highly decorated officer with an impeccable record” and the right person to lead the government’s war on criminal gangs, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said.
The retired Brigadier was transferred from his role as a flood recovery co-ordinator, to head up the government’s Strategic Monitoring Team…
Premier Campbell Newman served under the Brigadier during his time in the armed services, but Brigadier Mellor had distinguished himself post-military through roles such as heading up the southern Queensland flood recovery effort.
Clive Palmer disgraces himself - big surprise - with yet another lunatic conspiracy theory:

Federal MP for Fairfax Clive Palmer told ABC Radio that Brigadier Mellor’s appointment was ”tantamount to a Gestapo”.
“Changing legislation, employing ex-Army people to run judicial functions, I think it’s very bad to have military people in police positions in society,” Mr Palmer said.
Mellor has a distinguished record of service:

Brigadier Mellor commanded the Australian Force in Somalia and was a key player in the strategic planning for the Australian intervention in Timor.
Brigadier Mellor is the Deputy Chairman of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland and a trustee of the General Douglas Macarthur Museum in Queen Street in Brisbane.
But Labor and its allies - who thought nothing of having the husband of then Premier Anna Bligh head a government department - sniff a mate-ocracy:
The ABC, which had little problem with Bligh’s husband, runs with the pack:
The retired Army officer appointed by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman to oversee the state’s controversial crackdown on bikies will be paid more than $200,000 for his year-long appointment.
Further details emerged about Brigadier Bill Mellor’s role as the Opposition and the head of the Queensland Police Union separately expressed concerns about the appointment and its implications for law enforcement in the state.
“It is very concerning ... it should be the role of the Police Commissioner,” Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk told the ABC.
“[Brigadier Mellor] has been a senior military officer but law enforcement is a completely different ball game.
“We don’t need the military running this state, thank you very much.”..
Ms Palaszczuk said it was a further example of Mr Newman “appointing his mates” to senior positions.
Then on its main 7pm Queensland bulletin last night, the ABC named the suburb Mellor lives in and repeatedly showed the street view of his home. Remember, this is a man appointed to help fight criminal bikie gangs.
Premier Newman has rung the ABC boss, Mark Scott, to protest. A public apology has yet not been issued.
The ABC is out of control.
UPDATE
Absolutely astonishing, and worse than I thought. Reader Rolf:
And they actually showed the street number, a large brass number on a rendered brick post. I did not notice any pixellation in the shot of his house.
Why didn’t the ABC just paint a target on Mellor’s forehead?
UPDATE
Reader Michael has checked the tape:
Andrew, Can confirm that the original ABC news report showed 3 separate shots of Brig Bill Mellor’s house including a close up of the street number on the letter box. At the same time, a voiceover revealed the name of the suburb.
After complaint lodged, the ABC kept the story online but advised that they had pixelated the number on the letterbox and removed the reference to suburb.  Now this is the residence of the key public servant tasked with coordinating the effort against criminal motorcycle gangs. The ABC must explain what benefit they hoped to derive from identifying Mr Mellor’s family home, and how they believed doing so would in any way serve the public interest.
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Four boats this week, after five in five weeks

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:39pm)


Four boats this week - not a good one - as the head of Operation Sovereign Borders reveals in today’s press conference:
In summary, during this reporting period, 162 illegal maritime arrivals, six crew, and 27 people whose status is yet undetermined on four suspected illegal entry vessels were or will shortly be transferred to Department of Immigration and Border Protection Authorities on Christmas Island.
That said, the Immigration Minister still notes a steep decline in arrivals:
For weeks we have been warning that smugglers will try to lift their tempo of ventures in this final window before the monsoon, and that is what we have seen in this past week. Conditions have been favourable for such ventures and the Government will not be surprised if further ventures are attempted in the few weeks remaining before the monsoon formally sets in.
Notwithstanding these latest arrivals, the decline in illegal arrivals by boat since Operation Sovereign Borders remain at below 80 per cent of what they were in the previous period following the Regional Resettlement Arrangement under the former Government up until the commencement of Operation Sovereign Borders. 
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Mark Kenny: Abbott simply “heartless” for not giving dying Holden more wasted millions

Andrew Bolt December 06 2013 (7:23pm)


The daily Fairfax Abbott-hate. If Tony Abbott handed yet more subsidies to Holden, would Fairfax’s Mark Kenny then attack him for keeping corporate welfare while slashing everything else?:
A doctrinal aversion to industry assistance within the economic power grouping of the Abbott government threatens to make the Prime Minister look not just heartless, but impotent.
By portraying itself as slave to larger economic and historical forces than it can control when it comes to Holden’s likely closure, the government risks striking the wrong policy responses and the wrong political tone.
Like his translucent “direct action” policy on global warming in which almost nobody can find substance, the Prime Minister appears at best only half-committed to averting a clear and present crisis for thousands of people whose livelihoods derive directly from the automotive sector.
Asked his intentions on Friday, the best Tony Abbott could offer, in an interview with Melbourne’s 3AW, was: “… there’s not going to be any extra money over and above the generous support the taxpayers have been giving the motor industry for a long time...”
For Kenny, the argument is all about having a heart, not a brain. And so Abbott is accused not just of looming “heartless”, but of having “glib indifference”, lacking “national leadership” and appearing “cavalier”.
Nowhere in the piece, of course, is any argument on how taking taxes from good businesses to prop up a dying one leaves workers and taxpayers better off. Nowhere does Kenny address today’s revelation - that Ministers understand Holden will close its doors regardless, meaning no bailout will work.
Abbott’s just heartless. End of today’s stupid story. 
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Finally, some semblance of reality vs the Mandela "saint" myth. Flaws are great. It shows one is human. 

http://www.theage.com.au/world/behind-the-myth-mandela-wore-his-halo-loosely-20131206-hv4p4.html
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This four-legged bandit was caught by a South Carolina convenience store's security camera shoplifting things like pig ears, beef bones, dog food and treats. See the canine-incriminating footage here:
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Aprille Love

Just in time for tonight. Thanks @marqueesydney for sending me out this membership card! Will put it to good use haha #nickyromero #marquee#poppinbottles #partytonight
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Hey guys tune into 99.3fm at 530! I will be interviewed about the Philippine Typhoon charity benefit next Thursday!
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Desert Sky

Click on Image for full effect...

.
 — in Arizona.
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Andy Trieu.
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Dana Nuccitelli who, with (UN)Skeptical Science's John Cook wrote a paper on "consensus" that has been torn to shreds, seems on a path of self-destruction with his twitter account.
http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/remind-me-dana-nuccitelli-who-are.html
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The world’s most extreme toilet is located in Siberia at the edge of a cliff, 2,600m (over 8,500 feet) above sea level.
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Paws and rest
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Chillin' — at Lavender Bay.
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Depression is a serious illness -- more than just “feeling blue.” Pfizer's Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall explains. http://bit.ly/PfizerDP12613 #DrPhil 
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An enormous alien planet — one that is 11 times more massive than Jupiter — was discovered in the most distant orbit yet found around a single parent star.
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David Bowles

http://davidbowles.us/music/bare/
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A fantastic, short piece exploring how protest-related arrests are rising along with foreign investment. These arrests allow the Burmese government to silence those shining a light on the military's influence in Burma's economy and politics.

"[M]any of these charges have targeted individuals and groups whose protests threaten to spotlight highly sensitive issues like the extractives industry, the Kachin conflict, meager salaries and workplace abuse of factory employees, etc – in short, the issues that are most sensitive to the government and military and its close network of business tycoons and prized foreign investors."


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Swish and flick! Swish and flick! Magically control your TV, DVD or music player, or any infrared device.

For this remote control wand and other authentic prop replicas from the world of Harry Potter, visitThe Noble Collection.

Harry Potter Remote Control Wand:http://bit.ly/18bJxA7
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Happy birthday to Hagrid, a half-giant with the most gigantic heart we know!
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Frank Severino
er, than our sun...and at 25,000 Kelvin...it's gotta go "sometime." The last confirmed supernova witnessed by earth was in 1604. Glad this puppy is 7500 light years away! Ironcially, it probably *already* has blown up, we just won't know "when" until the light reaches us...then we subtract 7500 years.>
http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2106904,00.html

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http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2013/12/04/a-knight-ninjas-iron-man-batman-and-others-crash-couples-wedding-video/#ri9xyi6cDDIc03yX.01
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Dai Le

At Quán Bụi - Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine. 17A Ngo Van Nam, Ben Nghe Ward, D1.
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Deric Ly
Fresh everyday... Meringue has joined the sweet family
  • CamMie Du The one on the right looks like a cheesecake! My favourite!!!

  • David Daniel Ball You can have them. I saved them for you. The Meringue was good .. but not enough ..

  • CamMie Du I doubt you did Dave!

  • David Daniel Ball Everybody assumes from my shape I eat everything (wipes vanilla slice from lips) that is so unfair. (Hides cake behind back) I left them! (points to uneaten cheesecakes .. at back of display)

  • CamMie Du Haha your a crack up! I wouldn't save them 🙅

  • David Daniel Ball Hmm, I wouldn't either .. couldn't reach ..
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Sarah Palin'
big thank you to everyone who joined us today for a very festive “Good Tidings and Great Joy” book event at the Billy Graham Library. It was great to see our old friend Charlie from the ’08 campaign trail. He’s growing up into such a beautiful young man. I’d especially like to thank Franklin and Jane Graham and all the staff and volunteers at the Billy Graham Library. If you’ve never had a chance to visit the library, I really encourage you to take time and do so. It’s a beautiful place dedicated to telling the story of Billy Graham’s amazing life and continuing his work to bring the Christian message of love and hope to the ends of the earth. Next up, we get to visit with volunteers at Samaritan’s Purse and then it’s on to Roanoke, Virginia, and Monroe, Louisiana, tomorrow! 

P.S. I had a great time chatting with Bill O’Reilly last night about “Good Tidings and Great Joy.” I had forgotten I wore the same shirt this morning that I did on Fox last night… that is until every other person at the library today mentioned they enjoyed the O’Reilly interview and thought it was cool I was wearing the same clothes! I laughed and explained that this is what happens when you’re living out of a suitcase on the road meeting all these great people!

You can watch the interview here:

Part 1: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2898490731001/can-the-gop-capitalize-on-obamas-falling-popularity-/
Part 2: http://video.foxnews.com/v/2898438936001/fighting-the-war-on-christmas/
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David Bowles
Sometimes spam comments on my website sound positively poetic. So here's one, done up in two stanzas of crazy.

Found Poem (Comment Spam)

We are undecided
when they are ample
to halt a pedicab driver,
but we have not still placed
a great deal of our self-worth
within their fingers.

Online Tutorials—
Let’s facial area it,
a great deal of us:
you should not contain the time
or cash flow
to utilize hair dressers,
official outlets
make-up artists
and stylists
on even an occasional foundation.
I clicked on it thinking my dead cousin who left me some money had posted more .. ed
===
Michelle Malkin
Can we parody President Ego’s self-parodying Mandela tribute? Yes. We. Can! [Photoshops] ==>http://twitchy.com/2013/12/06/can-we-parody-president-egos-self-parodying-mandela-tribute-yes-we-can-photoshops/
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Frank Severino.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/111898
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From the album: Timeline Photos
By SC Militia-God & Guns
Necklacing.

A favorite method of execution by Mandela's African National Congress where a tire soaked in gasoline would be placed around the body of victim and then set ablaze.

Necklacing sentences were carried out by "people's courts" against victims who were deemed to be whit...See more
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4 her


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http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/14199#.UqIZ_zx1ruu.facebook
It was his socialist background .. their bigotry .. he embraced. He was freed thanks to the effort of conservatives he would never recognise. - ed
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So where is this funny guy buried? ed
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G'day,

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

Godspeed
Zeg

Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist
0414293765

www.facebook.com/zegtoons
http://zegsyd.blogspot.com.au/

===

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Aprille Love

#lezzdothis #marquee #nickyromero#partywithmygirls @samsam__xx @contessa_xo
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http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/155973/2013/12/05/
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http://www.jta.org/2013/12/05/news-opinion/from-the-archive-nelson-mandela-and-the-jews?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=a84476a795-JTA_Daily_Briefing_12_06_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dce5bc6f8-a84476a795-25375673
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http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=334125
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united with israel alerts                              newsletter

Israel Alert Newsletter 3 Tevet 5774December 6, 2013
 
United with Israel, the largest grassroots movement in support of Israel worldwide, urges supporters of the State of Israel to counter the various boycott campaigns against Israel by purchasing Israeli-made products for the holiday season.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement promoted by Israel's enemies, is in full swing. In order to counter the venomous anti-Israel campaign, those concerned for the well-being of the Jewish state would do well to consider beautiful, made-in-Israel items during this holiday season. Defending the State of Israel is an important mission, but it is not the only reason to choose Israeli brands. Many high-quality gift items, including collector's items, would surely thrill family and friends and enhance the holiday spirit. 
Click here to read more>> 
The Chatmar Military Base in Samaria was packed when busloads of American-Israeli visitors celebrated the Festival of Chanukah and the American Thanksgiving holiday with soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, bringing gift packages of warm clothing and thousands of letters of support from around the world. Gift-giving IDF soldiers received warm winter jackets for Chanukah from people the world over. Soldiers at that base belong to the elite "Givati" (highland) brigade.
The party, organized by United with Israel and Thank Israeli Soldiers, included a full turkey dinner, music and dancing. It was an opportunity not only to show appreciation to the courageous defenders of the land and the people of Israel - and the Free World - but also to observe the holidays in a truly meaningful way, as Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are both based on the concepts of freedom and gratitude.
Click here to read more>> 
 
Shofar_thumbnail.jpgWhat is 'Biblical Blue'?

What is "Biblical Blue" and why would a piece of jewelry or even a bookmark in that rare color be considered precious?
In ancient Israel, the Children of Israel wore fringes of authentic biblical blue - in Hebrew, Techelet - on the corner of their garments. The color, mentioned numerous times in the Bible, was also critical for ritual use in the Holy Temple. The significance of this unique color, the sages explain, is that it is similar to the color of the sky, which in turn calls to consciousness the existence of God and his lasting presence in our lives.
Click here to read more>> 
United with Israel encourages its followers to acknowledge Canada's brave defense of Israel and the Free World. The Canadian government, true to its policies since the election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2006, again demonstrated courage, in the aftermath of the dangerous new deal brokered between Iran and the six global powers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the agreement a "historic mistake"that poses a grave danger to the Jewish state and the Western World.

Using Laughter to Help Victims of Terror
Comedy for Koby, a delightful show featuring world-class Hollywood entertainers, lifts the spirits of Israeli audiences while benefiting a noble cause. Founded by professional American comedian Avi Liberman, Comedy for Koby had its first run in December 2009; due to its overwhelming success, the project has continued on a semi-annual basis.
This month, Comedy for Koby will entertain audiences on Dec. 5-12 in six cities, including early and late shows at certain venues.
This week's Torah portion is "Vayigash" (Genesis 44:18-47:27), and in it we have the episode of Joseph revealing himself to his brothers. But before Joseph revealed himself, he played a type of "hard to get" game with his brothers.
The brothers had come down to Egypt from the Land of Israel to buy food because of the famine that was ravishing the region. Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him, since he was just a child when they last saw each other.

The Places of Israel: 'Shechem - Elon Moreh'
Since United with Israel visited the Chatmar Military Base nearShechem last week, this week's focus is on that intrinsically Jewish city and the nearby settlement ofElon Moreh.
Although currently under the administration of the Palestinian Authority, the ancient city of Shechem, located approximately 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Jerusalem, holds a key to the soul of the Jewish people. The population of 130,000 is completely Arab; no Jew is permitted there...

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USA:1-888-ZION-613
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© Copyright 2013 United with Israel. All Rights Reserved 
===
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ted cruz dad
With Rafael Cruz , Sen. Ted Cruz's dad. Photo taken earlier this year.
Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for December 6th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Obamacare’s perilous protection plan for debtors

“Uh-oh.” That’s the sound being uttered in doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country as medical providers realize they’re getting stuck with another bottomless Obamacare bill. While the White House desperately tries to pivot from the havoc wrought by the “Affordable Care Act,” its hidden regulatory bombs keep exploding...

Team Obama’s ‘Underpants Gnome’ theory of economics

Want to create jobs? Apparently it’s as simple as this chart from OFA...

Actual title of winning Obamacare contest video: ‘Forget about the price tag’

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a contest for the public to create videos that “educate and inform” about Obamacare (degree of difficulty: No “Titanic” themes)...

More From the Right Side of the Web

Michelle's Top Tweets

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You can listen to the podcast here.
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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

Screen Shot 2013-12-06 at 9.08.23 AM
Sounds like a reasonable guy.
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December 7Day of the Little Candles in Colombia; Armed Forces Flag Day in India; Pearl Harbor Day in the United States
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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““I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"As is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly."
1 Corinthians 15:48
The head and members are of one nature, and not like that monstrous image which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream. The head was of fine gold, but the belly and thighs were of brass, the legs of iron, and the feet, part of iron and part of clay. Christ's mystical body is no absurd combination of opposites; the members were mortal, and therefore Jesus died; the glorified head is immortal, and therefore the body is immortal too, for thus the record stands, "Because I live, ye shall live also." As is our loving Head, such is the body, and every member in particular. A chosen Head and chosen members; an accepted Head, and accepted members; a living Head, and living members. If the head be pure gold, all the parts of the body are of pure gold also. Thus is there a double union of nature as a basis for the closest communion. Pause here, devout reader, and see if thou canst without ecstatic amazement, contemplate the infinite condescension of the Son of God in thus exalting thy wretchedness into blessed union with his glory. Thou art so mean that in remembrance of thy mortality, thou mayest say to corruption, "Thou art my father," and to the worm, "Thou art my sister"; and yet in Christ thou art so honoured that thou canst say to the Almighty, "Abba, Father," and to the Incarnate God, "Thou art my brother and my husband." Surely if relationships to ancient and noble families make men think highly of themselves, we have whereof to glory over the heads of them all. Let the poorest and most despised believer lay hold upon this privilege; let not a senseless indolence make him negligent to trace his pedigree, and let him suffer no foolish attachment to present vanities to occupy his thoughts to the exclusion of this glorious, this heavenly honour of union with Christ.

Evening

"Girt about the paps with a golden girdle."
Revelation 1:13
"One like unto the Son of Man" appeared to John in Patmos, and the beloved disciple marked that he wore a girdle of gold. A girdle, for Jesus never was ungirt while upon earth, but stood always ready for service, and now before the eternal throne he stays not His holy ministry, but as a priest is girt about with "the curious girdle of the ephod." Well it is for us that he has not ceased to fulfil his offices of love for us, since this is one of our choicest safeguards that he ever liveth to make intercession for us. Jesus is never an idler; his garments are never loose as though his offices were ended; he diligently carries on the cause of his people. A golden girdle, to manifest the superiority of his service, the royalty of his person, the dignity of his state, the glory of his reward. No longer does he cry out of the dust, but he pleads with authority, a King as well as a Priest. Safe enough is our cause in the hands of our enthroned Melchizedek.
Our Lord presents all his people with an example. We must never unbind our girdles. This is not the time for lying down at ease, it is the season of service and warfare. We need to bind the girdle of truth more and more tightly around our loins. It is a golden girdle, and so will be our richest ornament, and we greatly need it, for a heart that is not well braced up with the truth as it is in Jesus, and with the fidelity which is wrought of the Spirit, will be easily entangled with the things of this life, and tripped up by the snares of temptation. It is in vain that we possess the Scriptures unless we bind them around us like a girdle, surrounding our entire nature, keeping each part of our character in order, and giving compactness to our whole man. If in heaven Jesus unbinds not the girdle, much less may we upon earth. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth.
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Today's reading: Daniel 3-4, 1 John 5 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 3-4

The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace....”

Today's New Testament reading: 1 John 5

Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life....
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Joseph [Jō'zeph]—may god add orincreaser.
  1. Poetic description of the descendants of Joseph the son of Jacob (Deut. 33:13).
  2. The Father of Igal, one of the spies sent by Moses into Canaan (Num. 13:7).
  3. A son of Asaph ( 1 Chron. 25:29).
  4. A man of the family of Baniwho had taken a foreign wife (Ezra 10:42).
  5. A priest of the family of Shebaniah in Joaakim’s time (Neh. 12:14).
  6. Ancestor of Joseph, Mary’s husband ( Luke 3:24).
  7. Another ancestor of Joseph in the same line (Luke 3:26).
  8. A more remote ancestor of Joseph, Mary’s husband (Luke 3:30).
  9. A disciple nominated with Matthias to take the place of Judas Iscariot among the disciples. Matthias was chosen ( Acts 1:23). This Joseph must have been a commendable Christian since he was nominated as an apostle.
  10. The eleventh son of Jacob and first of Rachel, and one of the most outstanding men of the Bible, meriting honorable mention (Gen. 30:2425).

The Man Whose Dream Came True

The story of this young man who went from pit to palace and from rags to riches, never loses its charm for young and old alike. It would take a book itself to fully portray all the vicissitudes and virtues of Joseph, who kept his record clean. All that we can do in our treatment of him is to suggest a few aspects of his character for development.
Joseph was a youthful dreamer and his dream came true ( Gen. 37:5-941:42-44).
Joseph labored as a slave, but was faithful in hard places (Gen. 39:1-620-23).
Joseph enjoyed the presence of God and won the confidence of his master (Gen. 39:24).
Joseph had physical beauty, but it was never a snare to him (Gen. 39:6).
Joseph resisted temptation. His godless mistress could not seduce him. Grace was his to flee youthful lusts. Thus he did not commit a “great wickedness” (Gen. 39:7-13).
Joseph was silent amid foul accusations and the appearance of guilt and unjust punishment (Gen. 39:14-20).
Joseph was unspoiled by sudden prosperity. When days of honor followed days of humiliation, he did not yield to pride (Gen. 41:14-16).
Joseph the interpreter of dreams proved that “prison walls do not a prison make.” He acknowledged his dependence upon God for illumination, proving that he was not a mere dreamer but an interpreter of dreams (Gen. 40).
Joseph manifested great wisdom, brotherly love, filial devotion and utter submission to God ( Gen. 43:2045:814,2347:7). He knew how to return good for evil ( Gen. 50:16-21). If we cannot have all the gifts of Joseph, who is a perfect type of Christ, we can certainly covet all his graces. If we cannot have his greatness, we can certainly emulate his goodness.
R. W. Moss says, “A very high place must be given Joseph among the early founders of his race. In strength of right purpose he was second to none, whilst in graces of reverence and kindness, of insight and assurance, he became the type of a faith that is at once personal and national ( Heb. 11:22), and allows neither misery nor a career of triumph to eclipse the sense of Divine destiny.”
11. The husband of Mary, and foster-father of our Lord (Matt. 1:16-242:13Luke 1:272:4-433:234:22John 1:456:42).

The Man of Wood and Nails

It is somewhat unique that two Josephs were associated with Christ, one at His birth and the other at His death. Both of these godly men gave Jesus of their best. In this section we think of Joseph the carpenter, who was present at the manger when Jesus was born, even though he was not His father. While Christ came as the Son of Man, He was never a son of a man.
Joseph’s presence at Christ’s birth witnesses to a severe test that had emerged triumphant. Mary was the pure young woman he had fallen in love with, and was about to make his wife. Yet the Child she was about to bear would not be his. Seeing her “great with child,” without fanfare Joseph was minded to put her away. He never acted rashly with his espoused, although he was baffled by her condition. This serves for all time as an example of godly wisdom and tender consideration for others.
Bitterly disappointed that Mary had apparently betrayed him, yet believing, he made no haste. As a praying man he waited upon God, and his love for and patience with Mary were rewarded. God understood his mental difficulties and rewarded Joseph’s conscientious attitude toward Mary by revealing His redemptive plan. God never fails those who carry their anxieties to Him. Joseph received a direct and distinct revelation from God, and at once his fears were banished, and his line of duty made clear.
Tenderly he cared for his dear one as if the Child she was bearing were his own. Overawed by the mystery of it all, that his beloved Mary had been chosen as the mother of the Lord he as a devout Jew had eagerly anticipated, we can imagine how he would superintend every detail of the Nativity.
What holy thoughts must have filled the mind of Mary’s guardian. Where suspicion regarding Mary’s purity once lurked, strong faith now reigned as he looked into the lovely face of Mary’s Child. At last God’s promises had been fulfilled and before him was the Babe through whom God’s covenants would be established.
When it became necessary because of Herod’s hatred to flee into Egypt, Joseph cared for Mary and her first-born Son with reverent devotion until tidings came that Herod was dead, and that they could safely return to their own land. While a shroud of secrecy covers the thirty years Christ spent at home, we can be sure of this, that between Jesus and Joseph there was an affection strong and deep.
Briefly stated, we have these glimpses of Joseph:
I. He was “a son of David” and could claim royal or priestly descent (Matt. 1:20).
II. His family belonged to Bethlehem, David’s city.
III. He followed the trade of carpenter, and doubtless taught Christ how to use wood and nails (Matt. 13:55).
IV. He was a pious Israelite, faithful in all the ordinances of the Temple (Luke 2:22-2441 42).
V. He was a kindly, charitable man, treating Mary gently in her time of need (Matt. 1:19Luke 2:1-7).
VI. He was faithful in his care of Christ, and deserved to be called His “father” ( Luke 2:33John 1:456:42).
VII. He never appears in the Gospels after Christ was twelve years of age and became “a son of the Law” (Luke 2:41-51 ), which may suggest that he died during the interval. This would explain why Jesus at His death asked John to care for His mother.
VIII. He died, tradition says, at the age of 111 years, when Jesus was but eighteen years of age.
12. Joseph of Arimathaea, a secret disciple of Jesus, whose unused grave was surrendered to Jesus. Thus the One born in a virgin womb was buried in a virgin tomb (Matt. 27:57-60Mark 15:43Luke 23:50John 19:38).

The Man Who Gave His Grave to Jesus

This wealthy and devout Israelite, a member of the Sanhedrin, lived in a city of Jews (Luke 23:51 ). It is to the provision he made for the body of Christ that Isaiah had reference when he said, “He made His grave with the rich” (Isa. 53:9). Of this renowned Joseph we discover:
1. He was an honorable counselor (Mark 15:43). Because of his adherence to the Law and integrity of life he was a member of the governing body known as the Sanhedrin.
II. He looked for the kingdom of God. Immersed in Old Testament Scriptures, he anticipated the reign of the promised Messiah.
III. He was “a good man and just” (Luke 23:5051). As the Bible never uses words unnecessarily, there must be a distinction between “good” and “just.” As a “good man” we have his own internal disposition—what he was in himself. As a “just man” we have his external conduct—what he was towards others. His just dealings were the fruit of the root of his goodness. His was the belief that knew how to behave.
IV. He was a secret disciple (John 19:38). Joseph of Arimathaea was similar to Nicodemus in his respect for our Lord as a man, admiration for Him as a teacher, belief in Him as the Christ, and yet, till now, his lack of confessing Him before men. Dreading the hostility of his colleagues on the Sanhedrin, he kept his faith secret.
V. He begged the body of Jesus ( Matt. 27:58). As soon as Jesus was dead, Joseph hastened to Pilate for permission to inter His body. David Smith observes that when the condemnation of Jesus was over—a condemnation in which Joseph took no part—he realized how cowardly a part he had played and, stricken with shame and remorse, plucked up courage and went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. It was common for friends of the crucified to purchase their bodies, which would otherwise have been cast out as refuse, and give them decent burial ( Mark 15:45).
VI. He gave his grave to Christ (Matt. 27:5960 ). With lingering reverence Joseph paid his last respects to the One he admired, and in the hour of sorrow helped the friends and not the foes of the righteous Sufferer. Joseph had a garden close to Calvary, where he had hewn a smoothed and polished tomb in the side of the rock as his own last resting place, in which, aided by Nicodemus, he buried the linencovered and perfumed body of Christ.
VII. Joseph, legend tells us, was sent to Britain by Philip the Apostle, and founded the Church of Glastonbury. Medieval chroniclers delighted to tell of the staff Joseph stuck into the ground. The staff supposedly took root, brought forth leaves and flowers and became the parent of all the Glastonbury thorns from that day to this.
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December 6, 2011
How to Have a Joy-Filled Christmas
Part 1
Today's Truth
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (John 3:16, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Christmas! My favorite time of the year!
  • Brightly wrapped presents
  • Houses draped in sparkling lights
  • The smell of cinnamon and pine
  • Secret shopping trips
  • Children whispering and giggling
  • Old movies that make me laugh and cry
  • Phone calls from old friends
  • Chocolate covered cherries
  • Carolers
It is obvious that something important is happening. The literal meaning of "Christmas" is "Christ's Mass" and is the celebration of Christ. Oh, how far we have gotten from the wonder and awe of that first Christmas so long ago. I believe we all want a joy-filled Christmas that truly does celebrate Christ. Yet, so often, the holiday season leaves us with very little joy and an elusive emptiness we find hard to explain. Suicide rates soar during the Christmas holidays as depression and exhaustion become constant companions. Something is very wrong. How can we experience a joy-filled Christmas?
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 (NIV) "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."
God gave the greatest gift of all when He gave Jesus. The very heart of Christmas can be found in a very familiar verse, a verse not often associated with the Christmas holidays.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son" (NIV).
Christmas is not a date on the calendar. Christmas is a way of life. Like the innkeeper, we have posted a sign that reads, "No room!" No room in our schedules...no room in our homes...no room in our hearts and minds...no room in our lives for Jesus. We can participate in the festivities of the Christmas season but until we truly receive the gift of Jesus we will never truly experience Christmas. To have a joy-filled Christmas, we must not only recognize Him as the center of a season, but as the center of our lives. Jesus could have easily been born in a palace. His first home on earth could certainly have been a mansion. But He came to an ordinary manger and His birth was announced by commonplace shepherds instead of Kings - the greatest of all miracles in the midst of total simplicity. Today, He waits, longing to come to us in the midst of our ordinary, simplistic and commonplace lives.
Hebrews 2:17 (NLT) "Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to be in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. He then could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people."
My friend, wherever you are today, He has been there and He understands. I truly believe that into the very heart of Christmas, God has tucked a unique longing. It is a longing for home, for something and someone eternal, a longing that can never be satisfied outside of a personal, vital and growing relationship with God. That is why Jesus came, choosing to dwell in us. To have a joy-filled Christmas, we must receive God's gift to us...the gift of His one and only son, Jesus.
Let's Pray
Father, please help me truly celebrate Your birth this Christmas in a way that pleases and honors You. Right now, I choose to focus on the real meaning of Christmas. May the joy of knowing You direct every part of this Christmas season in the life of my family and friends. Be glorified in the way we celebrate Your birth.
In Jesus' name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
I encourage you to read the Christmas story in Luke 2:1-20. Pray and ask God to show you how to celebrate Christmas this year. Have a family meeting during which you determine what it means to have a joy-filled Christmas and then make a plan to do just that.
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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Matthews, NC 28106
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A Christology of Feeling

1 John 1:1-4 "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes...and heard we proclaim also to you" ( vv. 1-3).
Yesterday we focused on the impact of the radical immanentism of G.W.F. Hegel in the nineteenth century. Hegel's theories, however, were not universally embraced. Schools like Princeton Theological Seminary, for example, held fast to Christian orthodoxy in the 1800s. Others attempted to hold to the uniqueness of Christ and yet were unable to totally break away from an immanentistic bent in their theology. The most influential of these men was Friedrich Schleiermacher.
Schleiermacher maintained that there was a divine element in all men, which illustrates his affinities with immanentism. Yet unlike Hegel, Schleiermacher maintained that Jesus was different from other men in that He represents the supreme perfection of the divine element in humanity. This is particularly evident in Christ's "God-consciousness": Jesus was acutely aware of His "absolute dependence" on His Father and thus He was rendered sinless.
Of course, it is true that we are all absolutely dependent on God, for "in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28 ). But Schleiermacher did not emphasize this absolute dependence in any objective kind of way. Rather, he subjectivized the Christian faith, saying that the essence of religion is the feeling of "absolute dependence." Jesus really "felt" His dependence upon the Father and that made Him the perfect man, the authentically religious man. Combined with his unbiblical view of immanence, Schleiermacher's view of religion shaped the theological liberalism that came to the fore in the second half of the nineteenth century. Soon Jesus became the great teacher and model for what it means to be dependent upon God - whether or not He was God Himself. To be sure, Jesus is the supreme teacher and model, but this is not the whole story. He is also God incarnate who reconciles repentant sinners to the Almighty through bearing the Father's wrath on the cross ( 2 Cor. 5:21).
Biblical Christianity is not pure subjectivism. There is an objective content - Christ's life, death, and resurrection - that undergirds our faith. Without this content there is no way to know if we are depending upon the right God.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Hegel, himself no friend of biblical Christianity, criticized Schleiermacher, saying that if the essence of religion was the feeling of absolute dependence, then the dog, being absolutely dependent upon people, is the most divine creature of all. Many people feel dependent on their spouses, their jobs, or the teaching of other religions, but this does not make them truly pious. Only those dependent upon the biblical Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, will ever find salvation (John 14:6).
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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P31Header
Rachel Olsen
December 6, 2011
The Gift
Rachel Olsen for She Reads
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 (NIV)
Every year around the middle of December I find myself in a bookstore. Jazzy Christmas carols play over the speakers. The smell of coffee wafts from the café, melding with the smell of new books. Mmmm. Friendly people raising funds offer to wrap my purchases.
I'm in search of a gift - my dad and my daughter love receiving books for Christmas. So with my cup of gingerbread-flavored coffee in hand, I browse the shop with them in mind.
But I don't make it far from the café before I stop. It's always the same display table that gets me. The one filled with Christmas novels. Snowflakes or sleds adorning the covers. Else, small town scenes, blanketed in white, with the warm glow of firelight coming from the window of a grand Victorian house. They all look so inviting, so heart-warming.
I imagine myself with one of them. Curled up beneath a blanket by the Christmas tree, letting holiday cheer fill me from the pages within.
Then I realize the date.
It's about a week away from Christmas, which in my house is preceded by my son's birthday party. I doubt I'll have time to read a whole novel. And for some possibly irrational reason, I'd feel like a failure if I didn't finish a Christmas novel before Christmas. (Am I the only one?)
I lay the novel back on the display table, sniffle just a little, and continue on with my holiday shopping. This scenario has repeated many times in the past, and likely will again in the future.
But here's the thing. Each year I do curl up beneath a blanket by the tree and read a great Christmas story. It's a travel memoir of sorts. With drama and intrigue, love and murder. It's Matthew 1:18-2:23 about the birth and early years of Christ.
There are no snowflakes or sleds in this story. No Victorian style houses. No one bakes gingerbread or hangs ornaments on trees. But gifts are exchanged. Wise men bring them to the young Jesus to honor Him and celebrate His birth.
Not only that, as this story continues, it traces the outline of the ultimate gift exchange - our sin for Christ's righteousness. Our faith in Him for eternal life. It's the gift we're all in search of, whether we recognize it or not.
This story, and our key verse, shows that Jesus is God's greatest gift to us. What I deserve based on the way I have lived is death at the end of my days. What I get based on the way Jesus has lived is eternal life! There's no store-bought gift that competes with that. No sweet tale any novelist could ever tell will compare.
God has written the greatest Christmas story ever told. Every year I read this story and let Christ's cheer fill my soul from the pages within. It's not only heart-warming, it's life-changing.
Dear Lord, thank You for the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. And thank You for ensuring the story of His life has been recorded for me to read. Fill me with Your presence as I do, and help me to be as gracious and as (for)giving as You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
I actually did manage to read a couple Christmas novels this year - I started back in October. Visit She Reads for my reviews of them. While there, enter to win a Christmas novel gift-pack featuring cozy items and great Christmas novels to savor yourself, or to give to someone you love.
See Rachel's blog for more on how Jesus is the greatest story ever told, and for her top book gift ideas.
Application Steps:
Pick up your Bible and curl up with the must-read story of the season - Christ's birth in the gospels.
Reflections:
Do I know the One who lived the greatest story ever told?
Power Verses:
John 17:2, "For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him." (NLT)
John 17:7-8, "Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me." (NLT)
© 2011 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org


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A Christology of Feeling

Hegel, himself no friend of biblical Christianity, criticized Schleiermacher, saying that if the essence of religion was the feeling of absolute dependence, then the dog, being absolutely dependent upon people, is the most divine creature of all. Many people feel dependent on their spouses, their jobs, or the teaching of other religions, but this does not make them truly pious. Only those dependent upon the biblical Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, will ever find salvation (John 14:6).
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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FRB-Christmas-Story-BookCover-SmallReading 1: David's Forever Kingdom

King David loved God and wanted to build a temple for God to live in. But God said he would establish an even greater "house" -- a kingdom that would last forever. God had great plans for David’s family. Not just for his son or grandson, but for someone who would be born many generations later.

2 Samuel 7:1-17 

God’s Promise to David 


1 After the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
3 Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the LORD is with you.”
4 But that night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? 6 I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. 7 Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’
8 “Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. 9 I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“‘The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.16Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.
Further Study
JUST THE FACTS
  1. Who gave God’s message to King David? (v . 4)
  2. What did God promise his people? (vv. 10 - 11)
  3. What did God promise David and his descendants? (vv. 12,15 - 16)
LET’S TALK
  1. What do you think it meant in David’s time to "establish a house"? In what ways are families important in our culture today? How is your family important to you?
  2. Who were your ancestors? How many generations can you identify? What is it like to imagine having children and grandchildren who will come after you?
WHY THIS MATTERS
God made a promise to David that he would establish a kingdom for David’s descendants. Hundreds of years after David died, God sent his Son, Jesus, who came from David’s family, to be the king of the Jews.
POINTS OF INTEREST
7:6 The "tent" God was referring to was the tabernacle that had been his portable dwelling place ever since the Israelites camped at Mount Sinai in the desert. It was intended to be used only while the Israelites were on the march. But the Israelites had lived in the land God had promised them for more than 400 years and still had not built a permanent temple--a house in which they could worship the one true God.
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Family Reading BibleToday's reading is from:The Family Reading Bible 

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TheTrueKing-700

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Life and Ministry of the Messiah
In the first century King Herod had the third largest palace in the world. It was a massive structure, with fortified walls, a company of soldiers, and towers reaching one hundred feet in the air. If that wasn’t enough, Herod also had the almost impenetrable fortress of Masada, and numerous other strongholds across Israel.
Determined to preserve his reign and bring about his vision for Israel, Herod undertook some of the largest construction projects in Israel’s history. The ruins of those sites last to this day.
From Bethlehem Mary and Joseph would have been able to see Herodium, the hill upon which Herod’s massive palace was built. His power was obvious everywhere and the promised king Jesus was a helpless baby.
Consider the faith it took then to say, like Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi, that Jesus was the true king and not Herod; even with evidence of Herod’s might right outside the window.
Yet long ago God had promised Israel a king, and that Edom (the nation Herod descended from) would one day serve Jacob. And in the Christmas story we read the story of that coming King who would grow up to redeem the world on a Roman cross.
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In 
Life and Ministry of the Messiahrenowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan brings us on location in Israel and throughout the Middle East, in an adventure in biblical learning. You will discover why Jesus turned the world upside down with his compelling call to follow him as Vander Laan brings together history, culture, and geography to illuminate the Gospels. The insights you gain will transform your reading of the Gospels and inspire a deeper faith commitment.
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Advent-Header-2011
Each Tuesday in Advent, we look at the story behind a beloved Christmas song.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

When you sing this carol from a hymnal, notice that the title of the tune is "St. Louis." It's not named for a city or a saint, but for the composer of the music, Lewis H. Redner (born December 15, 1830). Here's what happened: In 1865, Phillips Brooks, the famed Boston pastor, visited the Holy Land and stopped in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. He was so moved that, returning home, he wrote this hymn for the children in his Sunday school. He handed the words to his organist, Lewis Redner, asking him to compose the melody. "If it's a good tune," added Brooks, "I'll name it 'St. Lewis' after you." Lewis couldn't come up with a suitable tune until the evening before the song was to be performed; but it was an instant hit, and Brooks did name if for the organist, changing the spelling to avoid embarrassing him.

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heav'n.
No ear may his His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born to us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!

Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king. -- Matthew 2:1

Today's reading is from Near to the Heart of God by Robert J. Morgan.
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Today's Advent reading is taken from:Near to the Heart of God
by Robert J. Morgan

A soul-bolstering collection that begins with Scripture, includes lyrics and an uplifting story about a favorite hymn, and ends with a prayer.
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Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional

JOSEPH

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. -Matthew 1:18-19
We know so little about Joseph. He is only mentioned in the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. He was named after an ancient patriarch who used his success in Egypt to save his family and a future nation. Joseph was a carpenter who lived in the town of Nazareth. His ancestors were from Bethlehem, so when a Roman ruler, Caesar Augustus, wanted a census, Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem, even though his wife was well along in her pregnancy.
The most important thing we know about Joseph is that when the time called, he displayed great faith and grace. He had found out that the woman he was engaged to be married to was pregnant. While Mary had the benefit of the an angel to explain her unique conception, Joseph had not been visited yet. All he had was Mary's word. So what was that conversation like? No, she hadn't slept with another man. Yes, she was pregnant. And yes, a spiritual being had told her that she would conceive by a unique act of God-and as though that wasn't enough-the child in her womb would be the Savior of the world.
Why did Joseph believe her? Why did he change his first plans to quietly divorce her so as not to expose her to public shame? (Engagements were so serious then, to break one off amounted to a divorce.) Why did he choose instead to take her as his wife-and then abstain from sexual relations with her until the birth of the child? If you were in his shoes, would you have believed Mary?
Here is something for all of us to think about at Christmas. Think of Joseph. Think of him looking into Mary's eyes, hearing her account, knowing in his heart of hearts it was true, and having the courage to act on that faith, even though he may have had doubts. As nonsensical as it seemed, he believed it. As much as the idea of a virginal conception violates both logic and science (even the rudimentary science of millennia ago), he knew it was possible with God. As risky as it was to stay with Mary and be branded by others as the hapless dupe of an immoral woman, Joseph decided to take that leap of faith.
That is true faith. It wasn't just that he trusted Mary; he trusted God. That God could; that God might; that God would.
Prayer for today:
God, give me Joseph's courage and iron-strong faith. Give me faith to believe that, at the birth of Jesus, you really did enter this world-my world-and you are still working powerfully in it.
For the month of December, we’re giving all of our “Everything New” readers a taste of Mel’s Christmas devotional, “Christmas Joy”. Click here to subscribe to this email devotional, which will run the month of December. Or, acquire the entire devotional as an e-book, compatible with your Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Kindle or Android. All previous posts in this series are available on The Brook Network.
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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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Is faith enough?

This week's reading: James 2:14-24
Are we saved by grace through faith alone (see Eph 2:8-9) or do we also need good works?
James does not argue that good works are required for salvation. Nor does he say that deeds are more important than beliefs. Rather, he insists that there are two kinds of faith-one legitimate and the other illegitimate; "faith ... made complete" (v. 22) and "faith without deeds" (v. 20). Both are "belief" in one sense of the word. But legitimate faith goes deeper than "right thinking" to "right living."
Confusion may arise, however, when we recall that Paul writes that we cannot earn salvation. He uses Abraham as an example of one who received God's promise, not through human effort, but through faith (see Gal 3:6-12).
James also uses Abraham as an example, but his focus and emphasis are different than Paul's. He skips over the futility of human effort to discuss the futility of deficient faith-faith that stops at the intellectual level. Even demons have that kind of "faith," James exclaims (v. 19)!
James's point, then, is that Abraham exercised authentic faith-demonstrated by his actions. Abraham's deeds earned him nothing, but they proved his faith was genuine: Right faith led to right actions. If he had not trusted God, Abraham could never have offered his son-the fulfillment of God's promise-on the altar (vv. 21-22). Paul uses Abraham to show that people are justified on the basis of real faith; James shows that Abraham's faith was proven to be real because it worked (compare Gal 5:6).
So then, we don't need anything but faith-the right kind of faith-to be saved by God. And our behavior will show what our faith is made of, whether or not it is legitimate.
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Today's reading is from theNIV Quest Study Bible
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This unique Bible addresses the common, uncommon, and perplexing questions people ask about Scripture.


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A Christmas Devotional

JOSEPH

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. -Matthew 1:18-19
We know so little about Joseph. He is only mentioned in the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. He was named after an ancient patriarch who used his success in Egypt to save his family and a future nation. Joseph was a carpenter who lived in the town of Nazareth. His ancestors were from Bethlehem, so when a Roman ruler, Caesar Augustus, wanted a census, Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem, even though his wife was well along in her pregnancy.
The most important thing we know about Joseph is that when the time called, he displayed great faith and grace. He had found out that the woman he was engaged to be married to was pregnant. While Mary had the benefit of the an angel to explain her unique conception, Joseph had not been visited yet. All he had was Mary's word. So what was that conversation like? No, she hadn't slept with another man. Yes, she was pregnant. And yes, a spiritual being had told her that she would conceive by a unique act of God-and as though that wasn't enough-the child in her womb would be the Savior of the world.
Why did Joseph believe her? Why did he change his first plans to quietly divorce her so as not to expose her to public shame? (Engagements were so serious then, to break one off amounted to a divorce.) Why did he choose instead to take her as his wife-and then abstain from sexual relations with her until the birth of the child? If you were in his shoes, would you have believed Mary?
Here is something for all of us to think about at Christmas. Think of Joseph. Think of him looking into Mary's eyes, hearing her account, knowing in his heart of hearts it was true, and having the courage to act on that faith, even though he may have had doubts. As nonsensical as it seemed, he believed it. As much as the idea of a virginal conception violates both logic and science (even the rudimentary science of millennia ago), he knew it was possible with God. As risky as it was to stay with Mary and be branded by others as the hapless dupe of an immoral woman, Joseph decided to take that leap of faith.
That is true faith. It wasn't just that he trusted Mary; he trusted God. That God could; that God might; that God would.
Prayer for today:
God, give me Joseph's courage and iron-strong faith. Give me faith to believe that, at the birth of Jesus, you really did enter this world-my world-and you are still working powerfully in it.
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Resources

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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