Sunday, December 08, 2013

Sun Dec 8th Todays News

Soon, responsible adults in government will deliver a shock to ABC followers who are unaware that Slush funds have been used to embezzle the nations poorest workers, exploited by senior ALP members. The full extent of the corruption is not yet known. In all likelihood, Fair Work will have to be restructured. I feel a Fair Work VP like Graham Watson should be promoted to oversee the full operations. He has an ALP profile, but is independent having done excellent work in the past with Costello on the Dockside workers. I don't have inside information on him (he is a cousin of mine) but I do know neither Gillard nor Rudd did him any favours. 
Those that are badly abused for being conservative can't reply the same way. They just have to be better than their opponents. The result can sometimes be startling, as when Red Kerry lookout Rudd's glass jaw with a simple question. Gillard subsequently rolled Rudd .. and the rest is history. Red Kerry stepped away from the 7:30 report. Still, the 7:30 report has not improved. But getting back to the point, the best way to deal with abuse is to be competent. Heckling can be destabilising and should never be encouraged. The demolition of Premier Nick Greiner is a shining example of how heckling can succeed to damage much. Hot heads are wanting to advise Mr Abbott. Better to allow Mr Abbott to do what is right. 
$6 billion did little to reduce Australia's production of plant food. Eiffel tower is beautiful, but the light tribute to Mandela has not yet happened. One suspects that a computer game will not overthrow capitalism, but cashed up developers are welcome to try. Just don't label it educational. Obama has now ruled it is legal to hunt endangered birds with a wind mill. Fairfax stereotypes the image of a female. ABC pays a woman less than any man. Lefties use children as fodder for marketing. Fairfax targets a female conservative with misogynistic heckling campaign. 
Friendly reminder. This is a discussion page, not a shared anger site. We argue ideas and politely disagree by providing substance. I note some have recently taken to posting abusive style material from ADL type sites. It is ok for you to hold those opinions, but the unsubstantiated abuse they spread isn't helpful for discussion. Before posting an item that states that Presbyterians are raping Martian Women because of their religious beliefs, ask yourself if you are posting something that is verifiable or merely outraged opinion. It will save me from having to direct my team to delete it .. and you.
Presbyterian youths aren't used to Martian customs .. they view their summer dress as a cat views its' dinner .. .. and yet they live among Martians, enjoying their lifestyle and income when it suits them, then go off to fight in Presbyterian wars that Martians have nothing to do with. There are basically two types of Presbyterians. One type believes in spiritual matters in which their central prophet will one day be restored to them, the other believe in very little, but are pragmatic in decision making. The spiritualists are more numerous around the world. The pragmatists tend to be excellent dictators in the fascist mould. I note some Martians praise some Presbyterians. "They don't kill many of us. The others are worse." Some say the US President was raised and remains a Presbyterian. Although there is pictorial evidence and a ghost written biography, most Martians feel he is really an apostate with atheist tendencies .. which is a perfect description for most Presbyterians who scuff Pork rolls, drink liquor and generally carouse with opposite gender animals they call pets when their youthful males aren't buggering each other. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns to those born on this day, including
Matches
Despatches
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ABC audience in for a shock

Piers Akerman – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (1:19am)

EXPECT astonishment from the ABC’s vast national audience when the federal government places trade-union slush funds front-and-centre of a major inquiry in the New Year.
The rusted-on viewers and listeners will be bewildered because the taxpayer-funded state-owned broadcaster has imposed a regimen of strict censorship on the key element in the inquiry - the misuse of money from the AWU association which was established with the assistance of legal advice from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she was a partner in the Victorian Labor law firm Slater & Gordon.
Those who don’t take their news solely from the ABC would be well aware that the Victorian police are conducting a major inquiry into Ms Gillard’s role in the establishment of the Australian Workers’ Union Workplace Reform Association by her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson and his AWU mate Ralph Blewitt in 1992.
Early last week, The Australian newspaper revealed that Fair Work Commissioner and former AWU boss Ian Cambridge has given sworn evidence of “gross irregularities” in the union slush fund that Ms Gillard advised on.
Wilson, who was in a long-term relationship with Ms Gillard in the 1990s is the target of a police investigation and Victorian fraud squad detectives have already seized files from Slater & Gordon, files which Wilson claims should be subject to client-lawyer privilege.
The detectives are seeking to establish whether the documents were created in furtherance of a fraud, which would render void the privilege claim and make them available as evidence.
The court heard Mr Cambridge had provided “substantial evidence” in his affidavit about misappropriation of union funds by Ms Gillard.
Lawyer Ron Gipp, representing lead fraud squad detective Ross Mitchell, said Mr Cambridge’s evidence “puts it beyond any doubt” that there were “gross irregularities” in the funding of the association, which Ms Gillard referred to as a “slush fund” in an exit interview before she left Slater & Gordon.
He said statements from Mr Blewitt - “essentially a full confession by a co-accused” - describe the slush fund as a “scam”.
Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations other than it was a “slush fund” for the re-election of union officials.
Money from the fund was used to purchase the Fitzroy house in Mr Blewitt’s name at a 1993 auction, which Ms Gillard attended with Mr Wilson, who subsequently lived in the property.
Slater & Gordon handled the conveyancing and helped provide finance.
That’s the background for ABC fans who have been kept in the dark and goes someway to explaining why many other Australians not affected by the ABC’s news blackout are watching every legal move in this case.
In her exit interview with Slater & Gordon on September 1, 1995, Ms Gillard said: “It’s common practice, indeed every union has what it refers to as a re-election fund, slush fund”.
Whether every union does indeed have a slush fund is something the federal government should be looking into, and probably will, informed as it is by the material being developed by the ongoing AWU investigation.
Even without an official inquiry, it has emerged that money was used from a union slush fund known as the McLean Forum to finance campaigns in internal elections in the TWU’s Queensland branch and to bankroll candidates in the Flight Attendants Association of Australia and the Health Services Union’s NSW Branch.
Sums of at least $500,000 were reportedly spent in the TWU’s Queensland campaign.
It was reported in March that a fund known as Industry 2020 donated funds for HSU elections and a 2008 article in The Sydney Morning Herald noted that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard “was a guest speaker at the inaugural fundraising lunch for the Industry 2020 fund at Flemington racecourse, which generated about $250,000 with nearly half that profit”.
In that article it was also suggested that “two other fundraisers have been held for Industry 2020, including a small event at Melbourne’s Greek Museum in Melbourne last year attended by (current Opposition leader) Mr (Bill) Shorten”.
The Age reported in May that ASIC records in May showed that Industry 2020 was a registered company under Mr Cesar Melhem’s sole directorship. Mr Melhem was formerly the AWU Victorian Secretary but is now a Victorian Labor MP, a more recent search however indicated that two companies, Industry 2020 Pty Ltd and Industry 2020 Ltd are both under voluntary external administration.
Two weeks ago, The Age reported that the nation’s largest construction union, the CFMEU, had used a drug and alcohol charity to raise up to $1 million for union activities.
It has also been revealed that the Queensland branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Union has for a decade had an undisclosed internal slush fund - wrongly promoted to contributors as being tax deductible - to support union boss, Mr Chris Ketter’s, re-election as State Secretary of the union. Mr Ketter was the ALP’s lead Senate candidate in Queensland at the 2013 election.
The ongoing court case against former Labor MP and former HSU boss Craig Thomson over his alleged misuse of trade union funds has given added impetus to the need for a wider investigation into trade unions and their handling of members’ funds.
The establishment of slush funds, the practice Ms Gillard regards as “common place” and carried out by “every union” must be examined to ensure that such operations are held to the same exacting standards of governance as organisations which hold investors’ money.
Trade union members deserve to know who is responsible for holding their compulsory contributions and how their cash is being spent.
For too long, the union bosses have insisted that the Labor Party turn a blind eye to union activities.
Next year, the ALP must be given the opportunity to demonstrate it truly has the workers’ interests at heart.
It will send a disgraceful message if it doesn’t champion the broadest inquiry into the operation of slush funds and the union movement’s handling of members’ money more generally.
Surely it has nothing to hide?
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Why the Left takes joy in foul abuse

Miranda Devine – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (1:20am)

SO Joy Burch, the Education minister of the ACT, publishes a tweet describing her federal counterpart Christopher Pyne as a c**t - and gets away with it.
Her excuse for retweeting the foul abuse is that she is inexperienced on Twitter, despite the fact she has been publishing her thoughts on the social media site for four years, during which time she has written 1161 tweets.
“I haven’t finessed my social skills, my Twitter skills on this,” she said, while considering an offer by the University of Canberra for remedial social media training.
In other words, Burch has published six tweets a week for the past four years and she still hasn’t worked out how to use Twitter.
Slow learner, much?
Her boss, fellow feminist and Emily’s Lister Katy Gallagher, the ACT Chief Minister, accepted Burch’s explanation that the tweet - which she later deleted - was a mistake.
“I also believe that she has done the right thing and accepted responsibility for what happened ... and has offered an apology to Minister Pyne,’’ she said.
We all make mistakes. But imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine if Pyne had used the most obscene word in the English language, describing an intimate portion of the female anatomy, in reference to Burch. He would be crucified. Twitter would be ablaze! The destroy-the-jointers would be apoplectic. The entire Abbott government would be implicated.
“If I had done that, before my head hit the pillow [Thursday night] I would have resigned or been sacked,” Pyne says.
“If it was me saying such a thing, the howls from the left would be cacophonous.”
But there has been barely a peep against Burch, who also happens to be the ACT’s Minister for Women. Moving right along. No double standards here.
That’s the Left for you, hysterical overreaction when it suits them, benign tolerance when it doesn’t. If you’re on their side, anything goes. If you’re a conservative, a minefield of ‘isms lie in wait - sooner or later you will be accused of sexism, racism, elitism, homophobia and misogyny.
Of course, the upside is that conservatives become battle - hardened and vigilant while their establishment foes grow sloppy and complacent.
The truth is that Burch doesn’t like Pyne because he is an ideological enemy and a fearsome warrior.
In fact there are few politicians as tough. Pyne relishes combat. As the much-loved youngest of five children growing up in Adelaide, he learned his skills at a family dining table where vigorous debate was nightly sport.
The photograph that had Burch and comrades so furious that they called him “c**t” last week shows Pyne smirking, or, as one tweeter put it, “smugly loitering”, in the background of one of those ranting press conferences NSW education minister Adrian Piccoli held about Gonski funding.
This was supposed to be the moment when Pyne was on the ropes, chastised by the media for executing backflips, supposedly humiliated by Prime Ministerial intervention, and yet here he was looking exceedingly pleased with himself.
How infuriating for his enemies!
Having unwisely promised to match the extra billions pledged by Labor before the election under the so-called Gonski model of redistributing education funding, the Abbott government is stuck with it.
But don’t expect Pyne to capitulate.
He knows giving extra billions to the very state education bureaucracies that have presided over a decline in standards over the past decade of record funding increases is no answer to our woes.
The latest OECD rankings show Australian students have fallen even further behind their peers in 65 industrialised nations, dropping out of the top ten for reading, maths and science for the first time.
The test results released last week show Australian 15-year-old students ranked 13th in reading last year, down from 9th in 2009; 19th in maths, down from 14th; and 17th in science, down from 10th. An earlier report showed the reading skills of our Year 4 students are the worst of every English-speaking country tested.
This sorry result is despite the fact Australia increased spending on schools by more than 40 per cent last decade.
More money does not automatically mean better education.
In fact it can make things worse, if you are just entrenching the progressive education ideology that has infected teacher training for decades, and which fails disadvantaged children the most.
Pyne understands completely.
“The failing in education is not money,” he says. “[What’s needed is] an acceptance that what we’ve been doing for decades doesn’t work. Child-centred learning, whole language teaching of reading, acceptance of failure, is not going to get our students to the top of the tree around the world.”
The federal government doesn’t control what happens in schools. But what Pyne can control is teacher quality, the single biggest determinant of student success.
“We are going to intervene in the training of our teachers ... to ensure that [when they graduate]from university they are properly trained in how to teach students to read, and to do so from phonics, through orthodox teaching methods.”
He has lots of other plans too, from expanding direct instruction to ensuring principal autonomy, all of which is anathema to the progressive education establishment.
He should wear their foul abuse as a badge of honour.
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THE PRICE OF POINTLESSNESS

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (4:41am)

So much pain, so little gain: 
Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by less than 0.1 per cent
The official register of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will reveal that in the financial year before the carbon tax was introduced Australia produced 546.2 million tonnes of emissions. After the carbon tax was introduced, the emissions dropped to just 545.9 million tonnes. 
For the planned removal of this pointless and destructive gesture tax, Ross Gittins apologises to his grandchildren. Who don’t exist. Meanwhile, distressed warmies may be calmed by snow in December.
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LIGHT ON FACTS

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (4:08am)

An illuminating note from Dylan Kissane in France: 
I saw your post on Mike Carlton’s Mandela fact-checking problems and looked over his Twitter stream. He also re-tweeted Lisa Wilkinson who was in awe of the Eiffel Tower in Paris being lit in South African colours to honour Mandela while Tony Abbott still wouldn’t even lower the Parliament House flag:

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Thing is – and take it from someone in France – the news broke early morning here and the Eiffel Tower doesn’t light up during the day. The picture that Lisa was in awe of and that Mike fell for was frommonths ago. 
Dylan is right. The New York Times, which also fell for the Eiffel Tower story, now runs this correction
An earlier version of this article included an erroneous description of the Eiffel Tower in a reference to mourning for Nelson Mandela. The Eiffel Tower was bathed in white floodlights, not the colors of South Africa. (Photographs showing the Eiffel Tower floodlit in those colors, circulated via Facebook and Twitter and widely reported by news agencies, were from earlier dates, including July 18, 2013, Mr. Mandela’s 95th birthday.) The reference has been removed. 
We now await similar corrections from Lisa and Mike.
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MO POWER

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:52am)

He bowls to the left, he bowls to the right, that Mitchell Johnson completely destroys England in the Second Test:



Johnson’s delightful non-verbal farewell to first-ball victim Jimmy Anderson particularly amused teammate Ryan Harris:

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Australia currently holds a 530-run lead with two days to play. England’s combined total from three completed innings in this series: just 481. Only a timely Mandela tribute can save England now. 
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THE KIDS WILL LOVE IT

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:42am)

Self-parody from the Guardian:

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(Via PWAF, who observes: “This may be the most perfect Guardian headline ever.") 
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LEGAL EAGLES

Tim Blair – Sunday, December 08, 2013 (3:33am)

Fresh from its healthcare success, the Obama administration legislates for eagle purée
In a decision that highlights the clash between two cherished environmental goals — producing green energy and preserving protected wildlife — federal officials announced Friday that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty
[Vice president of public affairs for the American Wind Energy Association Peter] Kelley said the new regulations would “increase the protection of eagles and will help develop more wind farms, a leading solution to climate change, which is the No. 1 threat to all eagles and all wildlife.” 
They have to destroy the eagles in order to save them.
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WOMAN STEREOTYPED

Tim Blair – Saturday, December 07, 2013 (11:39pm)

Fairfax’s favourite scowly lady makes a front page appearance in today’s Age;

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TinEye search turns up a dozen or so Fairfax uses of the stern stock image woman, mostly in the SMH:

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I blame sexism.
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The case against Peta Credlin - three strikes and Fairfax is out of control

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (9:27am)


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Here are some of the Fairfax media’s main criticisms lately of Peta Credlin, Tony Abbott’s chief of staff, now a hate figure of the Left that once decried the “misogyny” of critics of Julia Gillard.

At least three senior Coalition ministers have had key staff appointments vetoed by a committee run out of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s office.. The committee is chaired by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and includes Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson, Mr Abbott’s chief and deputy chief of staff Peta Credlin and Andrew Hirst, and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss’s chief of staff, David Whitrow.
Mr Hockey’s choice for a personal adviser on foreign investment decisions, former Victorian state MP Victor Perton, was overruled by Mr Abbott’s office in October...
Perton over-ruled? Good job, Peta.

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ordered ... all cabinet ministers to take personal responsibility for approving official travel by departmental officials, whether individuals or delegations, where the proposed cost exceeded $20,000. He directed that he must be consulted about any proposed travel, whether by an individual or a delegation, that exceeded $50,000…
Coalition ministers, aides and senior public service executives have privately condemned the directive as “unworkable”, “ridiculous” and showing “a complete ignorance of the practical realities of government”.
Mr Abbott has already clamped down on travel by Coalition MPs who are required to seek approval from his chief of staff Peta Credlin at least four weeks before overseas study trips or sponsored travel…
Coalition ministerial staff described the instructions as part of “the controlling tendencies of the Prime Minister’s office”.
Cracking down on gold-plated travel and junkets? To the criticism of the same Fairfax media that for months tried to beat up expense “scandals” by Liberal MPs. Good job, Peta.
Fairfax Media has been told Mr Morrison, who has been running tightly controlled weekly briefings about the Coalition’s ‘’stop the boats’’ policy, Operation Sovereign Borders, was chided by Ms Credlin as they left a cabinet meeting last month.

In the exchange Ms Credlin spoke about Mr Morrison’s poor performance during a recent news conference.
According to cabinet sources, Mr Morrison did not take the criticism well and expressed frustration that he was not allowed to say much at his press appearances.
According to one source who witnessed the exchange, Ms Credlin shot right back at Mr Morrison with: ‘’We will tell you what you can say and what you can’t say.’’

Morrison’s performance was indeed below his best, as I said on 2GB recently. He’s since adjusted and is going very strongly. Good job, Peta.
But, wait.
Has Fairfax had to resort now to peddling false rumors to fill up this pathetic charge sheet against Credlin?
What is the paper’s evidence for alleging Credlin “chided” Morrison or for claiming Morrison “did not take the criticism well” before Credlin “shot back” that he should say what he was told?
Just anonymous “cabinet sources” plural or an anonymous “source” singular. (I suspect the singular source is the truth of it.)
Against the say-so of Fairfax’s one unnamed source we have this:

Mr Morrison’s spokesman said the account was ‘’complete rubbish’’. The office of the Prime Minister described the account of the meeting with Mr Morrison as “untrue”.
Morrison has insisted to me the story is “completely false” and the alleged incident “never happened”.
I’m calling bull on the Fairfax claim.
So the Fairfax case now against Credlin is that she has kyboshed a staff appointment for good reason, she cracked down on travel junkets and one anonymous source falsely claims she actually gave what would have been good and useful advice to Morrison.
This is a bad record? Some people seem to be having trouble with a strong woman - and it sure isn’t Abbott.
Fairfax is out of control. 
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Naughty children: who’d be safe in a world led by such haters?

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (8:32am)


Bertrand Russell:
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
I wonder what the world would look likewere the child revolutionaries in our universities - licensed by their idealism to indulge in hatred, abuse and violence - ever given real power.  France during the Terror? China during the Cultural Revolution? The island in Lord of the Flies?:
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Preaching tolerance, screaming abuse. 
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Preaching morality, screaming abuse

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:57am)


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Tell us again how poor Julia Gillard faced abuse and disrespect of the kind no Liberal or male PM would have to endure:
Protesters gathered at a hotel where Prime Minister Tony Abbott was due to speak have vowed to hold rallies every time the prime minister is in Melbourne.
About 100 people stood outside the Melbourne Park Hyatt on Thursday night ahead of Mr Abbott’s address, shouting chants and waving signs to protest a raft of coalition government policies.
Many of the protesters wore black T-shirts printed with the words “F*** Tony Abbott”.
Let’s see if any Labor MP stands near one of these T shirts.
PS: There are three great benefits of such shirts - much like those designed by an Age columnist and promoted by The Age. First, those wearing them advertise up front that they are just foul-mouthed haters with whom reasoning is pointless. Second, they’ll struggle to get on television - at least in family-friendly hours. Third, they’ll alienate more voters than they will attract.
UPDATE
So which kind of people would associate themselves with such an abusive and intolerant protest?
Another organiser, Roz Ward, said the group, Rapid Organised Anti-Abbott Response Network (ROAR), was a collective of union members and socialist groups that formed immediately after the election.
“We oppose the whole Abbott agenda,” Ms Ward told AAP.
Well, not actually the whole Abbott agenda, obviously. For instance, Ward would quite support Abbott continuing to fund La Trobe University so she can keep drawing a state salary to go with the one provided by the Victorian Department of Education and Department of Health:

Ms Roz Ward
Youth Program Coordinator, Gay and Lesbian Health, Safe Schools Coalition Victoria
Faculty of Health Sciences
School of Public Health and Human Biosciences
Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society
What is it with such people that they are most angry with those politicians most likely to create the wealth that supplies the taxes that supply their salaries?

(Thanks to reader John.) 
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Joy Burch excused the abuse the Left would never take from a Liberal

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:49am)


Miranda Devine on an unusual “mistake” - and an unusual silence from the Left:
SO Joy Burch, the Education minister of the ACT, publishes a tweet describing her federal counterpart Christopher Pyne as a c**t - and gets away with it.
Her excuse for retweeting the foul abuse is that she is inexperienced on Twitter, despite the fact she has been publishing her thoughts on the social media site for four years, during which time she has written 1161 tweets.
“I haven’t finessed my social skills, my Twitter skills on this,” she said… Slow learner, much?…
We all make mistakes. But imagine if the roles were reversed. Imagine if Pyne had used what I view as the most obscene word in the English language, describing an intimate portion of the female anatomy, in reference to Burch. He would be crucified. Twitter would be ablaze! The destroy-the-jointers would be apoplectic. The entire Abbott government would be implicated.
“If I had done that, before my head hit the pillow [Thursday night] I would have resigned or been sacked,” Pyne says."If it was me saying such a thing, the howls from the left would be cacophonous.”
But there has been barely a peep against Burch, who also happens to be the ACT’s Minister for Women. 
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Labor will drown in all this slush

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:42am)


Piers Akerman predicts an inquiry:

EXPECT astonishment from the ABC’s vast national audience when the federal government places trade-union slush funds front-and-centre of a major inquiry in the New Year.
The rusted-on viewers and listeners will be bewildered because the taxpayer-funded state-owned broadcaster has imposed a regimen of strict censorship on the key element in the inquiry - the misuse of money from the AWU association which was established with the assistance of legal advice from former Prime Minister Julia Gillard when she was a partner in the Victorian Labor law firm Slater & Gordon.
Piers very kindly helps ABC viewers who missed all the fun by explaining the latest twists of a police inquiry that would have been daily fodder for ABC news bulletins had it been held into an alleged scam involving Tony Abbott:
Victorian police are conducting a major inquiry into Ms Gillard’s role in the establishment of the Australian Workers’ Union Workplace Reform Association by her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson and his AWU mate Ralph Blewitt in 1992.
Early last week, The Australian newspaper revealed that Fair Work Commissioner and former AWU boss Ian Cambridge has given sworn evidence of “gross irregularities” in the union slush fund that Ms Gillard advised on…
The court heard Mr Cambridge had provided “substantial evidence” in his affidavit about misappropriation of union funds…
Lawyer Ron Gipp, representing lead fraud squad detective Ross Mitchell, said Mr Cambridge’s evidence “puts it beyond any doubt” that there were “gross irregularities” in the funding of the association, which Ms Gillard referred to as a “slush fund” in an exit interview before she left Slater & Gordon.
He said statements from Mr Blewitt - “essentially a full confession by a co-accused” - describe the slush fund as a “scam”.
Ms Gillard has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said she had no knowledge of the fund’s operations other than it was a “slush fund” for the re-election of union officials.
(Thanks to reader lol.) 
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Did Snowden know precisely the damage he’d cause the West - and not its rivals?

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:16am)


Reader Tabitha says new evidence suggests Edward Snowden is indeed a traitor who knew exactly what he was leaking - and what he would keep secret:

Rolling Stone recently published a largely sympathetic article on Snowden and [his journalist contact Glenn] Greenwald. But there is some interesting detail tucked in amongst it all.
My bold throughout:

“ ‘How long had the source been planning this?’ Greenwald thought. Just the organization of the material alone would have taken months, if not longer. Each memory stick had an elaborate filing system. ‘On the front page were, let’s say, 12 files. You click on one of the files and there are 30 more files. You click on one of those files and there are six more, and finally you got the documents. And every last motherf...ing document that he gave us was incredibly elegant and elegant and beautifully organized.’ Greenwald had no doubt that the leaker had read every page; not a single one was misfiled. ‘It’s 1,000 percent clear that he read and very carefully processed every document that he gave us by virtue of his incredibly anal, ridiculously elaborate electronic filing system that these USB sticks contained.’ All the way to Hong Kong, over a 16-hour flight, Greenwald pored through the materials. ‘There was stuff on what’s going on in Iraq, in Afghanistan, with the drone program, spying on our allies, the technology of how this works, the intelligence budget – every possible thing, all completely f...ing secret, and I’m just reading through it at my leisure on the plane’.”
That actually DAMNS Snowden. Such meticulous organisation would mean that Snowden knew he for example ”stole 58,000 documents containing names and other personal details about British intelligence operatives, as well as information about this country’s [Britain’s] spying techniques and capabilities”. When you add that to the detail on Australia’s intelligence operations, and the detail on and attempts to harm the US (with leaks like the Swedes gathering intelligence on Russia for the US), the admission of an “elaborate electronic filing system” makes Snowden even more the traitor.


And here’s James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) quoted two pages later in the Rolling Stone article:

“ ‘This is a carefully constructed narrative,’ says James Lewis of CSIS. ’They’ve got documents pertaining to foreign spying against the U.S., but not a single one of those has been released. Instead, this is scripted to lead you to a certain outcome, that it’s just the U.S. doing this. The fact that they haven’t released these documents makes me very suspicious. They’re spinning as much as the U.S. government is’.”

How much are the Left-wing papers publishing Snowden’s stolen intelligence mere pawns in a bigger game to damage the West? 
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Labor’s $6 billion carbon tax made no difference

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (7:08am)


And by how much did the world’s temperature fall?
LABOR’S $6 billion carbon tax reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by less than 0.1 per cent…
The official register of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will reveal that in the financial year before the carbon tax was introduced Australia produced 546.2 million tonnes of emissions. After the carbon tax was introduced, the emissions dropped to just 545.9 million tonnes.
In truth, the measurement is not quite fair. Would our emissions have in fact grown a lot without the tax?
But I have no trouble believing this tax made little real difference to emissions, given even Labor promised businesses that if they sat out the initial pain, the carbon tax would fall to Europe’s much lower price by 2015. So why change?
But once again, emissions is just a misleading proxy measure of the real game.The real question should be: what difference to the world temperature has our carbon tax made so far?
The answer? Indistinguishable from zero. All pain, no gain.
The fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes is nothing in comparison to this colossal exercise in collective self-deception. 
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The AFL’s kind of justice

Andrew Bolt December 08 2013 (6:41am)


Sinclair Davidson notes two more passages in coverage of the AFL’s unravelling deal with Essendon which stink.
First, this allegation that the AFL has asked for a dodgy financial arrangement to prevent AFL boss Andrew Demetriou from seeming like he misled the public (again?) in insisting coach James Hird would not be paid during his suspension:

It is understood that in a bid to resolve the impasse, the AFL suggested to Essendon that it should pay Hird off the books. Essendon and Hird rejected the idea.
Then this suggestion of a recovered memory of an AFL warning to Hird:
AFL integrity officer Brett Clothier provided a detailed account of the August 5, 2011, meeting in an email to Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigators on July 17 this year. The account was included in ASADA’s interim report to the AFL two weeks later and relied on to establish Hird’s “early awareness” of substances at the centre of the supplements scandal.
Mr Clothier’s evidence was added to the brief within hours of The Age publishing an allegation that Hird was warned by the AFL against the use of peptides in late 2011. …
It is understood Mr Clothier’s relatively brief, contemporaneous notes taken of the meeting contained no mention of a warning. In his email nearly two years later, shortly after midday on July 17, Mr Clothier provided more expansive detail.
Davidson is suspicious.
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Andy Trieu

Thanks Belinda Adams from #Thevoice for performing tonight at #HopeafterHaiyan and sharing #RickyMartin stories lol
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Faces of the #IDF: Private Daniella Lerman (19) is in combat training for the Caracal Battalion, a combat unit for both women and men in the Israeli army. “I chose this job because I wanted to utilize my skills to the fullest.”
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Ah, Victoria. Besides annoying the commuter with train delays, long wait times, faulty readers and overpriced tickets, we now have the bonus of..unlawful infringement notices!

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/state-warned-on-myki-fines-20131207-2yyfb.html
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<Do what makes you happy are you with who makes you smile laugh as long as you breath love as long as you live>
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<"Here are seven quotes from the leader that are less likely to be published as his life is honored and his death commemorated in the mainstream media…..">
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The New Mexico State Police officer who fired shots at a minivan full of children during a chaotic October traffic stop has been fired as its revealed that he was a mentor in a nonviolence program.> I'm on the cop's side .. momentary lapse. .. there are five children here in need of a responsible adult - ed

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2519755/Police-officer-shot-minivan-children-FIRED-following-internal-investigation.html#ixzz2mq0xPuAi 
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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Another great newsletter re Ocean Warming from Carbon Sense's Viv Forbes.
http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/the-ocean-thermometer.html
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Marinel Pretzles
When you leave the apartment, you see the ocean, you smell it in the air.

This is the most beautiful place I have ever lived in. One day..
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The greens lab experiment to develop a sustainable human succeeds with this forest friendly spineless hermaphrodite. Bob Brown is rumored to have donated some of his DNA
I see the resemblance - ed===

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World's largest gold mine
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http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/what-no-one-tells-you-about-becoming-a-parent
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Aprille Love
Speaking at the Banag Banag Association Christmas Party today. #charityevent#help4haiyan
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http://www.israellycool.com/2013/12/07/shirley-temper-and-friends-sing-christmas-carols-for-idf-soldiers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Israellycool+%28Israellycool%29
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Wind Chime Bridge in Denmark
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Andy Trieu
Excited to host Hope after Haiyan Charity Concert tonight. Such a great cause. There will be an amazing line up of acts, entertainer's of the year, big bands, and 100% of proceeds go to Australian Red Cross 4pm Spectrum Darlinghurst. Come!#RedCross
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Bob Carroll
My cousin's wedding cake is awesome!
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Snowflake - The albino gorilla

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Although Nelson Mandela's memory resonates from his remarkable life,he was a complex, yet flawed character.
He should not be elevated to sainthood.
If he'd been gracious with his enemies when he was elevated I'd have been more impressed. But he embraced the terrorists after leaving terrorism behind. He didn't thank the conservatives who saved him from being executed or had him freed after putting pressure on his captors. He leaves behind a South Africa that is healing, but the divisions of socialism also leave scars. - ed
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"It is much harder for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle." -Jesus 

Dive deeper into The Bible Series:http://bit.ly/16PwvSM
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Sarah Palin
"Happy, happy, happy!" Thanks to the Robertson family and the Duck Commander team for welcoming us to West Monroe, LA!#GoodTidingsAndGreatJoy

Photo by Shealah Craighead
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http://www.smh.com.au/world/murdoch-reportedly-fuming-over-blair-and-deng-friendship-20131125-2y4kw.html
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The executive editor of The New York Times, Bill Keller, sees "unmistakable" similarities between the campaigns of Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela. Oh, really? ~bil2lay
Read here: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/NYTs_Keller_compares_Obama_and_Mandela.html

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Daniel Katz


Perhaps they should get their news from facebook like the rest of us.>

Diane Feinstein says the unsayable
http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2013/12/03/diane-feinstein-says-the-unsayable/?fb_action_ids=10152476601999899&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210152476601999899%22%3A551969441559312%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210152476601999899%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D
Feinstein: Jihadists will stop hating the West only when they achieve Shariah law
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Three networks, two nights, one EPIC movie premiere. 

The Bonnie & Clyde Movie Event will premiere Sunday on A&E Television NetworkHISTORY, andLifetime at 9/8c.

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Get creative & make these Strawberry Santas this weekend!
http://bit.ly/19kUeev
 
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Ali Kadhim
051213 / Day 6 - A day exploring a new city without a map, without my family (who've been actively taking care of us) and with no mobile coverage. I had a general sense of where certain landmarks were but I was keen to travel unknown routes just to see where it could lead me. Getting lost and finding your way back again does wonders for the soul, and you'll feel liberated by letting go of everything you believed you once needed. In the long run, you appreciate everything much more, and in the moment you'll discover you can survive on very little.
As so many of us continue to live life pursuing predictable outcomes, we forget to open ourselves up to the endless possibilities of the world, both seen and unseen, both known and unknown, to experience a form freedom that's truly beyond words. #1world1love #team9lives#skatetheworld #stayhungry #stayfearless#followyourinstincts #thailand

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Affirmative! 4 K-9s spotted at the new#DoctorWho Pop Up Shop in Australia! Aww…http://bbc.in/AusPopUp
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  • John Tran Pft.. it has never killed me.

  • Phil Box I assume this is the Gympie Gympie or Giant Stinging Tree. Nope, never killed me either. I'd imagine though that given enough of a sting from it then it could certainly drive you to a point where you'd want to die. Duct tape is the first aid for this sting. whack some duct tape or hair waxing wax on it and rip the tiny silicone cylinders that contain the poison out.
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Sounds like my rice pudding - ed===

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There were 2 Trees in the Garden Of Eden.... The Tree Of Life... and The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good and Evil.... Notice that the wrong tree involves "knowledge" of this world and those things that are considered to be Good and/or Evil.... Knowledge... Learning Of The Mind.... The Feeling Of Needing To "Understand" Is Usually Rooted In Unbelief and Doubt and Especially Fear.... Trying to "understand" is our source of Security instead of God's Love and Faithfulness being our Security.... We Falsely Think That "Controlling Everything and Everybody Around Us Will Bring Security and Happiness"..... But It Never Does..!!! The Right Tree To Eat From Is The Tree Of God's Life.... The Tree Of Life.... Partaking Of "The Life Of God' and Resting In God's Faithfulness and Love.... Learning Spiritual Truth instead of Head Knowledge.... Growing In Spiritual Strength instead of Mental Strength... Learning To ""Walk By Faith and Not By Sight""..!!!
Careful, brother. I want to encourage you, but I most point out that it isn't humble to stand before the Lord and say "I did not eat of that fruit." Instead, we have been blessed through grace. We have *some* knowledge, but not all of it. And we are to use it too, not bury it. My father knows my heart. I might see the devil, but I will hold fast to my father, the Lord. - ed
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
Have you ever wondered what God thinks when he sees you? 

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

You are not rejected Isa 41:9 “...I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” 
You are precious in God’s sight Is 43:4 … you are precious and honoured in my sight, and …I love you
You are the ‘apple’ of God’s eye Zec 2:8 ...This is what the LORD Almighty says…whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye
You are forgiven Luke 5:20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”You are God’s friend John 15:15 “.... I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” So in all,He loves you so much.God bless you.
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http://www.michaelfreund.org/14080/iran-geneva-deal
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http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/steven-plaut/israeli-court-whitewashes-medieval-blood-libel/
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http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/long-lost-1913-film-of-jews-in-israel.html
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http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2013/11/the-geneva-agreement-with-iran-a-foreign-policy
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http://schanzer.pundicity.com/14114/us-and-iran-see-nuclear-deal-differently
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And what more do we have to give away in return? I'm sure this also comes with a price tag. 
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2013/12/report-us-accepts-israels-position-on.html
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http://newsblaze.com/story/20131206125246nurg.nb/topstory.html
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http://www.timesofisrael.com/germany-israel-sign-multimillion-dollar-arms-deal/
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http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.co.il/2013/12/when-israel-finds-itself-in-american.html
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http://www.israellycool.com/2013/12/07/shirley-temper-and-friends-sing-christmas-
To see children who have been taught such hatred is sad. Unless they break free they have nothing to look forward to except lives filed with pain and no child deserves that.
carols-for-idf-soldiers/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Israellycool+%28Israellycool%29
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The utter and maddening audacity, indeed. A sovereign nation is not an American owned entity, existence or even a disregarded pet; hence, a "US blueprint and Kerry set to press ahead with plans for Jerusalem, borders, refugees….."

After security plan, ‘Kerry to present US blueprint for deal on all core issues’ - The Times of Israel 

Continue to the link, reading this and more articles at ...….http://paper.li/allysonchristy/1338794440
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Meaningful Holiday Gifts from the Holy Land 

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According to Army Radio, a group of Jewish worshipers visiting the Temple Mount began singing Hanukka songs and demonstratively praying despite police instruction against such activity. Several dozen Muslim worshipers responded by attacking the Jewish worshipers. Police broke up the clashes, detaining two Jewish worshipers and two Muslims in the process. In a separate incident, an Arab youth was arrested for allegedly attacking a haredi man at Damascus Gate in the Old City. Prior to the beginning of the Hanukka holiday last week, Likud MK Miri Regev instructed police to ensure that Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount would be able to go up to the site unimpeded by police or Arab demonstrators. “Just because some Muslims throw stones when Jews go up to the Temple Mount is not a reason to prevent them from going, as happened over Succot,” Regev told police Ch.-Supt. Avi Biton during the committee hearing. “Police must allow Jews to go up to the site on Hanukka,” she continued. “Special arrangements are made for Muslim prayer there during Ramadan and similar arrangements must be made for Jewish visits on Jewish holidays.” Jewish groups and activists who regularly visit the Temple Mount frequently complain that the police do not treat them appropriately and hamper their wishes to go up to the site, especially on Jewish festivals. “For me, the festival of Hanukka represents the time that Jews stood up for their freedom and equality,” said Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a spokesman and activist for the Joint Association of Temple Organizations group. “We don’t want to harm or disturb anyone, but simply wish to pray at Judaism’s holiest site, while the police are hostile to, and continue to humiliate, Jewish visitors.”
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December 8Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic Church); Bodhi Day in Japan
Pope Pius IX
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” John 11:25 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Base things of the world hath God chosen."
1 Corinthians 1:28
Walk the streets by moonlight, if you dare, and you will see sinners then. Watch when the night is dark, and the wind is howling, and the picklock is grating in the door, and you will see sinners then. Go to yon jail, and walk through the wards, and mark the men with heavy over-hanging brows, men whom you would not like to meet at night, and there are sinners there. Go to the Reformatories, and note those who have betrayed a rampant juvenile depravity, and you will see sinners there. Go across the seas to the place where a man will gnaw a bone upon which is reeking human flesh, and there is a sinner there. Go where you will, you need not ransack earth to find sinners, for they are common enough; you may find them in every lane and street of every city, and town, and village, and hamlet. It is for such that Jesus died. If you will select me the grossest specimen of humanity, if he be but born of woman, I will have hope of him yet, because Jesus Christ is come to seek and to save sinners. Electing love has selected some of the worst to be made the best. Pebbles of the brook grace turns into jewels for the crown-royal. Worthless dross he transforms into pure gold. Redeeming love has set apart many of the worst of mankind to be the reward of the Saviour's passion. Effectual grace calls forth many of the vilest of the vile to sit at the table of mercy, and therefore let none despair.
Reader, by that love looking out of Jesus' tearful eyes, by that love streaming from those bleeding wounds, by that faithful love, that strong love, that pure, disinterested, and abiding love; by the heart and by the bowels of the Saviour's compassion, we conjure you turn not away as though it were nothing to you; but believe on him and you shall be saved. Trust your soul with him and he will bring you to his Father's right hand in glory everlasting.

Evening

"I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."
1 Corinthians 9:22
Paul's great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labours been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved. Paul knew the ruin of man's natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labours incessant. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all men, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labours and self-denials. Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where our love to Christ, if we seek not his honour in the salvation of men? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.
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Today's reading: Daniel 5-7, 2 John 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 5-7

The Writing on the Wall
1 King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand of his nobles and drank wine with them. 2 While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. 3 So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. 4 As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
5 Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking.
7 The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom....”

Today's New Testament reading: 2 John 1

1 The elder,
To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth—and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 5And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love....
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Issachar [Ĭs’sakar]—there is here orreward.
1. The ninth son of Jacob and the fifth by Leah. Of Issachar as an individual not a word is recorded after his birth (Gen. 30:1849:1415Deut. 33:1819).

The Man Who Couched Down

The birth of Issachar was regarded by his mother as a kind of payment from the hand of God, “God hath given me my hire,” said Leah, “because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar” (that is, hire). In Jacob’s blessing to Issachar, he is described as a “strong ass couching down between two burdens,” or “between the sheep-folds.” Two things are here mentioned as a pair, meaning they belong to each other; they are on either hand of Issachar, as necessary accompaniments to each other and to him. Between them his lot is cast.
When Israel was at war against Jabin, king of Canaan ( Judg. 4), Reuben was at ease among the sheepfolds (Judg. 5:16), but the princes of Issachar fought valiantly, jeopardizing their lives unto death (Judg. 5:18). Then it is said that the children of Issachar had an understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do.
The strong-boned ass used with the cart, because of its capacity for bearing heavy burdens, was the apt figure used by Jacob to represent Issachar’s great strength, a strength revealed on the field of battle. The love of ease, however, made the people of Issachar unwilling to use their strength at all times in the interests of their country. They couched down in luxury and the restfulness of a rural life. The tragedy overtaking many is their couching down when they ought to be rising up. Their prosperity induces indolence, and like the rich fool in the parable, they take their ease ( Luke 12:19). The voice from heaven still cries, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion” (Amos 6:1).
2. A Levite doorkeeper of the Tabernacle in David’s time (1 Chron. 26:5).
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GIG TG Banner 300
December 7, 2011
Ready for Christmas?
Today's Truth
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matthew 3:2, NIV).
Friend to Friend
It seems like everywhere you go during the month of December people ask the same question. At the grocery checkout counter - "Are you ready for Christmas?" At the bank drive-through window - "Are you ready for Christmas?" At the doctor's office - "Are you ready for Christmas?"
I think the answer to that question depends on how you define "ready." Let me ask you this question: "Are you ready for Jesus?" Now that puts the idea of being ready in a whole different Christmas light, doesn't it?
John the Baptist was sent by God to get the people ready to meet Jesus. Here's what Matthew had to say about him:
In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for him.'
"People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River." Matthew 3:1-35-6).
The world is not very fond of the words "repent" or "repentance." But they are good words. They mean "to make a radical change in one's life, to turn and go in the opposite direction from sin toward God." Repentance involves an element of grief over the way we have lived apart from God and a decision to run toward God. That was God's idea of the way to prepare for Christ's arrival in the book of Matthew, and it is still God's idea of Christ's arrival today.
Let's reflect for a moment on the words to this poem and then answer the question, "Are you ready for Christmas?"
"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high...
Then wearily sat for a moment and read,
Til soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.
Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream,
"Ready for Christmas, what do you mean?"
She woke with a start and a cry of despair.
"There's so little time and I've still to prepare.
Oh, Father! Forgive me, I see what You mean!
To be ready means more than a house swept clean.
Yes, more than the giving of gifts and a tree.
It's the heart swept clean that He wanted to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness and sin."
So be ready for Christmas - and ready for Him.
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, I want to be ready for Jesus today and every day. I come to You and repent for my sins: my sin of selfishness, stubbornness, and rebellion. I turn from my self-centeredness today and commit to keep my focus on You. God, I cannot do this on my own. I am not able. So I ask that You fill me with the power of Your Holy Spirit Who empowers me to obey. Thank You that You have given me everything I need for a life of godliness and truth. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
What do you think it means to be "ready for Christmas?"
What do you think it means to be ready for Jesus?
Go back and read the parable of the ten virgins in Matthews 25:1-13. Notice the difference between the five who were ready and the five who were not. Which group more resembles your readiness for Christ?
How do you get your heart ready for Christmas. Log ontowww.facebook.com and share your ideas! It might be just the thing to help one of your GiGs to keep her heart focused on Jesus.
More from the Girlfriends:
It is hard not to get caught up in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity and lose focus on what's important. If you would like ways to keep Jesus the focus of your holiday season, you'll love Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes. It's packed with helpful ideas and inspiration that will get you ready for Christmas!
Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
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P31Header
Glynnis Whitwer
December 7, 2011
An Overloaded Life
Glynnis Whitwer
"Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." Proverbs 27:23 (NIV)
We crammed suitcases, backpacks and tote bags on a luggage cart and raced to the ticket counter. Late for our flight, we thought it would save time to put everything on one cart and run.
Every few steps, something started slipping. My husband was pushing, I was pulling - both of us trying to balance the overloaded cart. We were doing okay until we approached the elevator.
Our oldest son, seven at the time, held the elevator door open. But, as we went over the sloped curb bags started falling. Robbie, who was three and had a broken foot, stopped in front of the cart. My husband didn't see him as he reached for a slipping bag and ran over Robbie's foot.
Robbie screamed, my husband yelled for help and the elevator beeped to tell us the door had been open too long. Our son Josh started crying in fear. Within seconds, we were in a total meltdown.
If only ... if only we had left our hotel with extra time, if only we had anticipated the wait at the rental car return, if only we hadn't overloaded the cart, if only we hadn't gotten frustrated with scared and hurt children.
Regrets weighed heavy as we ran to our gate, making our flight with seconds to spare.
I wish that day was an exception, but during that time in my life I always tried to do one last thing before leaving the house, fit one more errand into an already busy afternoon, or take on more than I could handle.
The problem? I had an overloaded life.
My responsibilities outweighed my capacity to manage them. Every day I was frustrated - at myself, my home, husband and children. Why couldn't anyone get it together?! Why didn't the demands stop? Why did everyone NEED me so much?!
The day came when I couldn't deny reality any more. I couldn't blame, find excuses or procrastinate. I was falling apart, and my family was suffering. My techniques had to stop.
Proverbs 27:23 says, "Know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds." That's just what I needed to do. Although it was painful, I took an honest look at all my responsibilities, projects, priorities and tasks, and paid careful attention to what I was doing well and what I was neglecting.
I listed things I needed to do for home, work, family. What needed to be done now, and future projects. I recorded volunteer responsibilities at school and church. It took days, as things came to mind that I'd forgotten. When I was done I wanted to burn it and start over - it was that overwhelming.
Instead, I started to edit. After spending lots of time in prayer, seeking God's will in that season of my life, I crossed through responsibilities I didn't feel called to any more, and things other people could do. I whittled my list down to what I could manage given my priorities as a wife and mom of three little boys.
Some things could be edited out of my life immediately, while other commitments needed to be fulfilled before I removed them from my schedule.
Finally life became manageable. The underlying anxiety that I "should" be doing something all the time ceased. My never-ending list became a "Project" list I manage weekly. And from that list I pull the tasks that become my to-do list for the week or day.
God has since added two girls to our family through adoption, so now I'm the mother of five. And they all still need me. But, by knowing the condition of my flocks, I'm able to manage the controllable parts of my life so I can better deal with the uncontrollable parts.
I'll probably always deal with the tendency to believe I can do more than I really can. But I've realized my optimism can hurt me and my loved ones if I don't balance it with wisdom and a careful look at the reality of my life at this present moment. I've learned the hard way - an overloaded life leads to meltdowns. But a well-managed life leads to balance and peace.
Dear Lord, You know how crazy and out of control my life can be. But You've called me to a well-managed life. Help me manage better what I can control, and in doing so, prepare for what I can't control. I need Your wisdom and discernment today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:Visit Glynnis' blog today where she's talking more about creating a project management system to oversee all your responsibilities.
I Used to Be So Organized by Glynnis Whitwer
Do you ever feel overloaded? Starting January 9th, Glynnis is hosting "15-Days to Living Clutter-FREE" on her blog. She'll be sharing ways to reduce the clutter in our minds, schedules, offices and homes. Visit her blog today for more information.
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us!
Application Steps:
Do you feel overloaded and overwhelmed? Take a personal assessment by writing down everything you need to do. Then prayerfully consider what needs to be edited out of your schedule.
Reflections:
What changes can I make so I have more balance and peace?
Power Verses:
Luke 12:42-43, "The Lord answered, 'Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.'" (NIV)
© 2011 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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Neo-Gnosticism

Colossians 1:24-29 "I became a minister...to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints" ( vv. 25-26).
The liberal theology that emerged from the nineteenth century and still plagues the church even today was not only influenced by the radical immanentism of Hegel and the radical subjectivism of Schleiermacher. Naturalism, a view that holds nothing exists except the physical universe, also had a profound impact on liberalism. The result was a crop of liberal theologians who did not believe in the miraculous. Some of them even denied the existence of the personal God altogether.
These men tried to explain away the many supernatural references in the Gospels, viewing the miracles purely in materialistic terms. The feeding of the five thousand, for example, was not a supernatural multiplication of a few loaves and fishes. Instead, Jesus was able to convince those in the crowd who had brought food to share with those who had not. This theory might provide a naturalistic explanation, but it ignores the details of the Gospel accounts completely (Matt. 14:13-21Mark 6:30-44Luke 9:10-17John 6:1-15). It also shows how far those with such biases will go to deny the work of God in Christ.
Rudolf Bultmann was a well-known figure who denied the reality of the miracles as supernatural events. He taught that the disciples, because they did not live in the twentieth century, explained the significance of Jesus through legendary stories (myths). He argued that the New Testament contains a kernel of historical truth, around which are found myths like the resurrection, the ascension, and so on. Completely denying the apostolic witness (1 Cor. 15:14 ), Bultmann said the historicity of the resurrection was unimportant. Only the faith of the disciples matters. Like them, we can have a personal encounter with Christ and find our "real humanity."
Bultmann's meaning is unclear, but at the least he is advocating some kind of mysticism over against biblical faith. This enables people to make a Christ in their own image. If faith is not based on historical events, how do we know if we are all following the same Jesus? How can Christ be the object of the Christian faith if, as Bultmann's schema makes possible, we all meet a different Jesus?

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Gnosticism, a heresy rampant during the early church, said salvation was only available to those who possessed the hidden truths of Christ. Bultmann espouses a kind of neo-gnosticism, a wholly subjective encounter with Jesus, which is the basis for many people's professed Christianity. A personal encounter with Jesus is necessary, but we do not believe simply because He "lives in our heart" (1 Cor. 3:16). We believe because He truly came, truly died, and truly rose again.
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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Neo-Gnosticism

Gnosticism, a heresy rampant during the early church, said salvation was only available to those who possessed the hidden truths of Christ. Bultmann espouses a kind of neo-gnosticism, a wholly subjective encounter with Jesus, which is the basis for many people's professed Christianity. A personal encounter with Jesus is necessary, but we do not believe simply because He "lives in our heart" (1 Cor. 3:16). We believe because He truly came, truly died, and truly rose again.
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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Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

Hymn Story:
"Gentle Mary Laid Her Child," a gentle hymn of Christmas, reminds us of each element in the Christmas story through its lovely verse. It is sometimes listed in the hymnals as a children's hymn.
Mary, the manger, angels, shepherds, wise men-each is briefly mentioned in tribute to the glorious incarnation. And yet, in its short verses, the hymn speaks not only of the baby born that Christmas day, but also of the King of Glory. Because of Jesus' miraculous birth, the King is no longer a stranger to the world; Instead, the world now praises his holy name.
Devotional:
With its longing for glamour and glory, our culture doesn't seem to understand humility very well. We talk about humility as though it were a good thing, but it seems to be the proud and powerful who really get ahead. From business to politics to entertainment, it's those who push their way into the spotlight who get our praise.
Jesus' humble birth stands in stark contrast to all this. While we yearn for better homes, he was born in a smelly stable. And while we seek the attention of the popular, God's angels sought the attention of simple shepherds-people who barely registered on the social ladder of their day.
"Gentle Mary laid her Child lowly in a manger." And so began the life of God on earth. Such a humble beginning that the songwriter went on to ask, "can He be the Savior?" And surely the people of Jesus' day asked this question too. How could a baby in a manger have more power than King Herod, who ruled from nearby palaces and fortresses?
Yet in his humility, Jesus did have more power than Herod. And in a culture where business gurus are admired and superstars are praised today, he?s still the humble King who really deserves our adoration.
In this Christmas season, let's reflect on Christ's humility. And when we feel tempted to seek praise for ourselves, or to give our praise to another, let's remember our carol's concluding words about the humble baby: "Praise His Name in all the earth, hail the King of glory!"
Facts:
Lyricist: Joseph Simpson Cook Lyrics Date: 1919 Music: Piae Cantiones Music Date: 1582 Theme: Christmas, Nativity Tune Title: TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM Arranger: Ernest MacMillan Arrange Date: 1930 Meter: 7.6.7.6.D. Key: G Scripture: Luke 2:7
Copyright © 2011 Center for Church Music

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Advent-Header-2011
Each Wednesday in Advent, we read a passage from the Gospels and consider what early church writers had to say about it.

Opening prayer

O God, who did look on humanity when they had fallen down into death and resolve to redeem them by the advent of your only-begotten Son, grant, we ask you, that they who confess his glorious incarnation may also be admitted to the fellowship of him their Redeemer; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. --Ambrose

Gospel reading: Matthew 3:1-12
(read on Bible Gateway)

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

"A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.'"

John’s clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

Reflections from the church fathers

Remove the Stones from the Road (Chromatius of Aquileia): Hence John prepared these ways of mercy and truth, faith and justice. Concerning them, Jeremiah also declared, "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it." Because the heavenly kingdom is found along these ways, not without good reason John adds, "The kingdom of heaven is near." So do you want the kingdom of heaven to also be near for you? Prepare these ways in your heart, in your senses and in your soul. Build roads of justice. Remove every scandal of offense from your heart. For it is written: "Remove the stones from the road." And then, indeed, through the thoughts of your heart and the very movements of your soul, Christ the King will enter along certain paths. Tractate on Matthew 8.1

No Costly Attire (Chromatius of Aquileia): First, the heavenly life and glorious humility of John are demonstrated in his way of living. He who held the world in low regard did not seek costly attire. He who had no use for worldly delights did not have any desire for succulent foods. What need was there of fancy worldly clothing for one who was dressed with the cloak of justice? What dainty food of the earth could he desire who fed on divine discourses and whose true food was the law of Christ? Such a precursor ought to be the prophet of the Lord and the apostle of Christ who gave himself completely to his heavenly God and had contempt for the things of the world.Tractate on Matthew 9.1 

The Axe Laid to the Root (Chrysostom): He did not merely say that the axe was barely "touching the root" but "laid to the root"--it is posed right next to it and shows no sign of delay. Yet even while bringing the axe so near, he makes its cutting depend on you. For if you turn around and become better persons, this axe will be laid aside without doing any harm. But if you continue in the same ways, it will tear up the tree by the roots. So note well that the axe is neither removed from the root nor too quickly applied to cut the root. He did not want you to become passive, yet he wanted to let you know that it is possible even in a short time to be changed and saved. He first heightened their fear in order to fully awaken them and press them on to repentance. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 11.3

Closing prayer

O you who are everywhere present, filling yet transcending all things; ever acting, ever at rest; you who teach the hearts of the faithful without noise of words: teach us, we pray you, through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen. --Augustine

Today's Advent reading is from 
Ancient Christian Devotional, edited by Oden and Crosby.
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Today's Advent reading is taken from:Ancient Christian Devotional
Edited by Oden, Crosby

Bite-sized bits of profound wisdom from the patristic era that coincide with the Scripture readings in cycle A of the Revised Common Lectionary.
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FRB-Christmas-Story-BookCover-SmallReading 2: The Sign of Immanuel

Years after God made the kingdom of Israel great through King David, God’s people were again disobedient to his laws and commandments. The nation of Israel became divided into two: one country was called Israel and the other was called Judah. So God sent messengers, called prophets, to announce his words to the people. Isaiah gave this prophecy first to King Ahaz of Judah when his country was about to be invaded by the armies of Israel and Aram. The king was fearful; he was not trusting God to take care of him and his country. The prophecy was fulfilled a short time later when a young woman, who may have been Isaiah’s wife, became pregnant ( 
Isaiah 8:3–10). But the prophecy was also fulfilled much later when another young woman, Mary, became pregnant (Luke 1:26–38).
Isaiah 7:10 - 8:10 
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 "Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test."
13 Then Isaiah said, "Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of men? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right. 16 But before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17The LORD will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah--he will bring the king of Assyria."
18 In that day the LORD will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria. 19 They will all come and settle in the steep ravines and in the crevices in the rocks, on all the thornbushes and at all the water holes. 20 In that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the River--the king of Assyria--to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to take off your beards also. 21 In that day, a man will keep alive a young cow and two goats. 22 And because of the abundance of the milk they give, he will have curds to eat. All who remain in the land will eat curds and honey. 23 In that day, in every place where there were a thousand vines worth a thousand silver shekels, there will be only briers and thorns. 24Men will go there with bow and arrow, for the land will be covered with briers and thorns. 25 As for all the hills once cultivated by the hoe, you will no longer go there for fear of the briers and thorns; they will become places where cattle are turned loose and where sheep run.

Isaiah 8

Assyria, the LORD’s Instrument
1 The LORD said to me, "Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 2 And I will call in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me."
3 Then I went to the prophetess, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And the LORD said to me, “Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 4 Before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.”
5 The LORD spoke to me again:
6 "Because this people has rejected
the gently flowing waters of Shiloah
and rejoices over Rezin
and the son of Remaliah,
7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them
the mighty floodwaters of the River--
the king of Assyria with all his pomp.
It will overflow all its channels,
run over all its banks
8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,
passing through it and reaching up to the neck.
Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land,
O Immanuel!"
9 Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered!
Listen, all you distant lands.
Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
Prepare for battle, and be shattered!
10 Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted;
propose your plan, but it will not stand,
for God is with us.
Further Study
JUST THE FACTS
  1. What did God want Ahaz to do? (7:11)
  2. What was the sign God promised to send? (7:14)
  3. What was the boy going to eat? (7:15)
LET’S TALK
  1. This prophecy was meant for Ahaz’s time, but it was also a foreshadowing of Jesus’ coming. Why do you think the prophet gave two meanings to these verses?
  2. “Immanuel” (7:14) means “God with us. ” When do we use the name “Immanuel” today? Can you think of a song about Immanuel?
WHY THIS MATTERS
The sign God gave to Ahaz--a virgin giving birth to a son and naming him Immanuel--is a key promise about the coming of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came to earth, God really was with us.
POINTS OF INTEREST
7:15 The land was devastated by the Assyrians, so there was no harvest. The people lived on anything they could find on the land. What they found was curds and honey; these two items refer to a simple diet of natural foods. Curds were a kind of yogurt.
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Family Reading BibleToday's reading is from:The Family Reading Bible 

Additional resources:

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How to Raise Children

Today's reading: Proverbs 22
Family members should be allies, not adversaries
Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Those who employ this proverb: "Spare the rod and spoil the child" take it from Proverbs 13:24, "Whoever spares the rod hates their children." Proverbs calls punishment a form of love and says that parents who won't discipline their children are in danger of ruining them (see Proverbs 29:15). But that much-quoted maxim is only a small part of what Proverbs has to offer on the subject of bringing up children.
The overwhelming emphasis of Proverbs is on verbal encouragement and teaching. The whole book is framed as a father's words to his son, teaching him those "facts of life" that have nothing to do with biology. Again and again he pleads, "Listen, my son." Mother has equally important words (seeProverbs 1:86:20). The parent-child conversation is a warm one, and Proverbs 17:6 bears out what the whole book implies: Parents and children are not meant to be adversaries, but allies in life who are proud of each other.
Proverbs on parent-child relationships: Proverbs 3:11-12;10:1,513:12414:2615:2017:62119:1826-2720:20 ;22:6,1523:13-1622-2527:1129:151731:28.

Life Question

In your upbringing, which had the greater effect: punishment and discipline, or verbal instruction and encouragement?
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At Issue - Risk

Today's reading: Joshua 2:1–24
Great risks require great risk-takers. Rarely will we take risks unless we’re certain that they’re worth it. Rahab was willing to endanger her life because she knew the risk was worth it. She knew God was on Israel’s side, and she wanted to align herself with him at any cost. In the end, her risky faith saved her life and the lives of her entire family (see Joshua 6:22–23 ). God doesn’t fail to give us opportunities to take on challenges. Our problem is that we often fail to accept his terms. If there’s something God wants you to do—do it! God will take you to the very edge of your faith if you’ll let him.
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True Identity: The Bible for Women
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The Bible that helps you see yourself as God sees you! Find your true identity in Christ through your relationship with him.
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A Christmas Devotional

KINGDOM

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end. -Luke 1:32-33
Christmas represents a beginning that only makes sense if we comprehend the end. The beginning is a child-a humble birth in an earthy stable. But the end... The end is an explosion of divine glory bright enough for the whole world to see-like the birth of new star. The end is a kingdom. Jesus came to forward the kingdom of God, to open people's eyes to the power of God, to make it the central reality of their lives. "His kingdom will never end."
Contrast this with King Herod, who sought to protect his kingdom by trying to eliminate any potential rival to his throne. What Herod didn't understand was that by killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem, he was not protecting his kingdom, but showing its weakness and fearfulness. In the wake of God's kingdom and power, all human power is simply water dribbling through cupped hands, no matter how steadfast the grasp.
The kingdom of Christ is different; it will never end. There is no rival to his authority, though unbelievers will always abound. There is no one sitting at the right hand of God except Christ. No other authority was present when the earth was created, and no other will be there when the final judgment comes.
Christmas is a celebration of the coming of a kingdom. Powerful. Life-changing. Overwhelming. Don't ever think that Christmas is a way for us to wrap God up in a package, put a bow on it, and keep the whole thing under our control. A way for us to avoid God except for those extra-special religious seasons.
The first Christmas was the arrival of a king. Rulers from the east knew it, so they came to present gifts. King Herod knew it, which is why he ordered all the baby boys in Bethlehem to be killed. It is the Battle of Bethlehem, the beginning of a war in which the King of Kings is intent to take back territory that belonged to him all along, and to sweep people like us into a new benevolent kingdom.
Prayer for today:
Dear God, help me to live these days with a knowledge that you are reigning in this broken world as king. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
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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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