Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tue Dec 10th Todays News

Holden wants a hand out despite having been gifted millions from cheaper electricity? Warmists devise another lie to promote their religion. Poll illustrates how ALP can be promoted without doing a thing worthwhile. ABC presenter is fighting for the other side? World record cold temperature recorded. Carbon dioxide blamed? How media covered up AWU scandal, similar to how the media covered up holocaust in WW2. Iran is not only given permission to develop nuclear weapons, their moderate terrorist is also executing more people. Who opposes Elton John performing in Russia? Not Putin, but Islamist leaders. 
I don't have a Samsung phone and won't post video of how it burns up with routine use. So Samsung need not sue me. But I use Apple products because they work. 
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Andy Trieu and Thanh Tong. Born on the same day, across the years, along with 
Matches
Despatches
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HOLDEN’S LAST CHANCE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 10, 2013 (5:31am)

(Scene: Parliament House. Two Holden marketing executives are in Joe Hockey’s office)
Executive #1: Thanks for meeting us, Mr Treasurer.
Joe Hockey: No problem. But I warn you, it won’t be a long meeting. There will be no subsidy increase.
Executive #2: Oh, but you haven’t seen our latest model, Mr Treasurer. It’s a game-changer!
Executive #1: A guaranteed winner! A mega-seller!
(The men present a large colour photograph and slide it across Hockey’s desk)
Hockey: [pause] This is a standard current model 2013 Holden Commodore. What’s new about it?
Executive #1: Take a closer look, Mr Treasurer.
Executive #2: Yes, Mr Treasurer. Look at the badges.
(Joe Hockey squints at the photograph)
Hockey: The Holden … Mandela?
Executive #2: If you say no to the Holden Mandela, Mr Treasurer, you’ll be saying no to the greatest human being who ever lived.
Executive #1: It’s a rolling tribute to the unifier of all humankind, Mr Treasurer.
Hockey: Are you people serious?
Executive #2: As serious as the mobs who will gather outside your house once they learn how much you hate the father of modern Africa, Mr Treasurer.
Hockey: What the …
Executive #1: This model also has the top of the line Madiba option package, Mr Treasurer, with Robben Island trim and Biko brakes.
Executive #2: Zuma zoom-zoom V6 power!
Executive #1: Stompie Seipei seat inserts!
Executive #2: Low-profile Bridgestone necklaces and …
Hockey: Get out. Now. Leave.
(Scene: the two executives are driving away from Canberra)
Executive #2: That didn’t go very well.
Executive #1: It isn’t over, mate. Have those Whitlam badges arrived yet?
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APPLICATION ISOLATED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 10, 2013 (5:29am)

Warmists previously relied on the per-capita lie – a trick designed to make a very small number appear very large – to justify a massive and pointless carbon tax. Here’s their latest weasel argument
The carbon tax is succeeding in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the parts of the economy where it applies, Labor and the Greens say, as they vow to resist Abbott government plans to scrap the key climate change policy. 
So it doesn’t matter that the carbon tax makes only a 0.1 per cent difference to Australia’s overall carbon emissions. These people are stupid.
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SAID WITH A SMILE

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 10, 2013 (5:27am)

From today, this is how I answer the phone: 
that jabbering and largely unread halfwit Blair 
My new greeting is courtesy of a helpful dumb blond:

image
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COALITION DOWN

Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 10, 2013 (5:23am)

It doesn’t mean much this far from the next election, but still worth noting
Tony Abbott and the Liberals have lost their three-year carbon tax advantage over Labor, with support for the Coalition dropping to its lowest since 2011 to leave the opposition leading on preferences for the first time since the election of the Gillard government.
Just three months after being elected, the Abbott government’s primary vote support has dropped to 40 per cent while Labor’s two-party-preferred support has jumped five percentage points to put the ALP in front 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
And for the first time since the September 7 election, more voters are dissatisfied with the Prime Minister than satisfied. 
Early post-election polls can be deceptive. Recall Kevin Rudd’s soaring numbers in 2008. At the same time, you’d prefer to be ahead than behind.
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UMPIRE!

Tim Blair – Monday, December 09, 2013 (6:39pm)

Labor front bench or mixed-gender mature age netball team? You be the judge.
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ABC presenter compares Australians fighting for jihadists in Syria to Anzacs in World War 1

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (12:01pm)


image
Dominic Knight is an ABC presenter. And, like almost every ABC presenter, he is of the ... well, let him speak for himself:

KNIGHT: Can we just stop for a second. Here we have four white Australian males expressing views on Syrians who want to return to fight for what’s right in their homeland.
JASON MORRISON: Well that might be your romantic view of things but I’ll point out that many of the people you say are heading home, their home is here. They were born here. Bankstown, Liverpool, Westmead hospitals. Yeah sure have passions about what’s going on over there but it’s a very different thing - a very worrying thing for Australia that they choose to fly to the other side of planet, pick up an AK47 and fight with Al-Qaeda in somebody else’s war…
KNIGHT : ...Somebody else’s war you say? Plenty of Australians historically have fought in other people’s wars. Are you as outraged about say Australian soldiers dying in Britain’s wars? In George Bush’s war?
MORRISON : are you serious?

KNIGHT : I am.

MORRISON : That’s a justification in your mind for young Australians joining up with the associates of terrorists to fight? You bring up 1914, World War One to prove your point. For God’s sake.

KNIGHT : well they weren’t Australia’s wars. I don’t see any difference.
MORRISON : you see no difference between Australians fighting with the sanction of their country in declared wars like the First World War and those fighting with the terrorists today in Syria? They’re just like the diggers are they?

KNIGHT : no it’s just a comparison and I think it’s too easy to condemn these men today..
MORRISON : ...Oh yeah everything is excusable isn’t it. That is a ridiculous comparison actually. Actually let’s call it what is is really - utter bullshit.
To sum up. ABC presenter Dominic Knight (here debating on Sky News) doesn’t “see any difference” between Australians fighting for their country in a war to aid their country’s allies and Australians fighting for jihadist groups linked to the killing Australian civilians and soldiers, and who are now trying to overrun Syria.
No difference at all (although, when challenged, he suggested he was just making “a comparison").
Now imagine Dominic Knight explaining his self-loathing theory to the jihadist groups he so honors with his comparison.
Explain to these guys, Dominic (CAUTION - extremely graphic):

Explain it to these guys, and these, and these. Again: CAUTION. Extremely graphic.
Of course, explaining it to the jihadists might involve Knight taking a few risks with his safety:

A militant group kidnapped two Spanish journalists reporting in Syria in September and is holding them captive, El Mundo newspaper reports… The newspaper identified the captors as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a jihadist faction in Syria.

Would it help if Knight said he was from the ABC, and there to help?
The ABC is out of control.  
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World record cold temperature measured

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (11:53am)


It’s weather, not climate - but would warmists say the same if the highest ever temperature had just been recorded instead?
A new look at NASA satellite data revealed that Earth set a new record for coldest temperature recorded. It happened in August 2010 when it hit -135.8 degrees. Then on July 31 of this year, it came close again: -135.3 degrees.
The old record had been -128.6 degrees, which is -89.2 degrees Celsius.
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The greatest scandal with the AWU slush fund is how many in the media aided the cover-up

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (11:50am)

The AWU scandal

There are actually two scandals. One centres on the AWU slush fund that Julia Gillard helped to create. The other involves the many, many senior journalists of the Left who didn’t just ignore the story, but in many cases aided Labor’s spin and attacked those trying to get at the truth.
Victoria’s Chief Magistrate, Peter Lauritsen, yesterday ruled that documents prepared or overseen by Julia Gillard as a solicitor were part of a fraud by her then boyfriend and others, and police are therefore entitled to seize them:
For those documents that (would otherwise attract legal professional privilege under Section 118 of the Evidence Act) I am satisfied that, in each instance, the communication was made or the document prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence.
Lauritsen in his finding referred to this affadavit from Victoria Police’s lead investigator in this case, Ross Mitchell, who was damning of the slush fund Gillard helped to create:

The evidence in this investigation points strongly towards establishing that the creation of the Australian Workers Union - Workplace Reform Association Inc was for the sole purpose of legitimising the ‘false’ invoicing for ‘work’ provided by the association.
The fraud, according to Mitchell, involves:

- obtaining property by deception;
- receiving secret commissions;
- making and using false documents; and
- conspiracy to cheat and defraud
(Gillard has insisted she did nothing wrong and did not know how her boyfriend used the slush fund. BlewittWilson denies any fraud. The magistrate’s finding is made on the “reasonable grounds” test, not “beyond reasonable doubt”.)
But Lauritsen’s finding and Mitchell’s affadavit again raise the question: why did so many in the media run dead on what is clearly a big story?
Michael Smith, who was forced out of 2UE after asking what management said were “unauthorised questions” of Gillard, sums up the case against the media:
When a sitting Prime Minister, reliant on the votes of the very trade union at the centre of The AWU Scandal for her position, is named in a search warrant executed on her former law offices - that is news.  Yesterday’s proceedings in court and the written reasons for Chief Magistrate Lauritsen’s judgement now make clear the breadth of our media’s shortcomings in bringing these matters to the nation’s attention.
A vibrant democracy is a fully informed democracy.  That requires a curious, fearless and capable media - not a club of barrackers.
Hedley Thomas of The Australian:

The closing words in (Lauritsen’s) ruling - “I am satisfied that, in each instance, the communication was made or the document prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence” - mean the police (subject to the decision not being reversed on appeal) will be able to access more than 360 documents taken from the law firm.
This is a major call. For a start, it should finally put to bed the fanciful arguments of Labor Party figures (such as former leader Mark Latham) and their naive barrackers that there never was a fraud in the first place. Lauritsen’s ruling might wake from their stupor those sections of Australia’s media who have self-censored, looked the other way and even tried to hose down serious matters involving the former prime minister, a key figure in a Victoria Police Fraud Squad investigation, for a year. It should incense taxpayers that the ABC has not reported on the police probe for all of this year, and is only now starting to realise its folly…
It is important to stress that nothing in Lauritsen’s ruling, and nothing in the evidence thus far revealed by the police, establishes that Gillard or (her then boss and now judge Bernard) Murphy were aware at the time the entity was being set up that they knew it would be used in a criminal fraud. Gillard has always strenuously denied knowing this, and Wilson has backed her up. She says she was profoundly misled. Murphy, who was appointed to the Federal Court by Gillard in 2011, has said very little but he has emphatically rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing.
However, Gillard cannot undo her 1995 tape-recorded disclosure to the senior partner at Slater & Gordon, Peter Gordon, that the AWU Workplace Reform Association was really a “slush fund” established for the purpose of funding elections for union officials. It culminated in her abrupt departure from the firm, and the start of a full-time political career.
But how easily the media was distracted by Labor into attacking Gillard’s accusers instead.
How eager some were to dodge asking the hard questions
How studiously the ABC looked away.
How easily the ABC and senior correspondents such as Laurie Oakes accused the few journalists pursuing the story of just “beating up” old allegations that had been answered “multiple times”.
How astonishingly ready the ABC and Age were to blame themselves for making false claims about the case, when their real mistake was to have repeated Gillard’s spin.
How often the ABC echoed false claims by Gillard to trash the reputation of journalists who’d reported the case.
How hungry senior press gallery journalists were to swallow Gillard’s red herrings, like her confected outrage at a newspaper confusing “trust fund” with “slush fund”.
How hasty journalists such as Laurie Oakes were to declare Gillard had “answered every question” about the scandal and the real liar was Tony Abbott.  How quick Michelle Grattan was to claim ”her answers were credible”.  For Graham Richardson to vow ”I will speak or write no more on this matter”.  For the ABC’s Jon Faine to dismiss the scandal as ”just an obsession for those who work for Rupert Murdoch”. For Age journalist Jason Koutsoukis to claim ”fending off an attack based on this old tale shouldn’t present too many problems for her (Gillard)” For Peter van Onselen to declare to Gillard: ”I believe you that you did nothing wrong.”
Can we now hear from the journalists who reassured Gillard there was nothing to this story when it was raised again in 2007 by since-sacked journalist Glenn Milne?
Gillard later told biographer Jacqueline Kent: “Over the next two or three days I received phone calls from many of the biggest names in the Canberra press gallery expressing absolute disbelief that such things were said (by Milne).
“Nobody followed up the story. It just died.”
UPDATE
It continues. Reader Grant watched the ABC 24 breakfast show this morning:
I watched Virginia and Michael from start to finish this morning and there was not a single mention of the AWU scandal.

The lead story was of the CEO of GM Holden asking for more handouts.

Even the goose who interrupted the Oxbridge rowing and whose appeal was upheld got a run with interviews of him and his wife; this was more newsworthy than the AWU scandal.

Unbelievable
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Our subsidies, Holden’s high wages

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (11:14am)


If it’s good enough for Holden, why doesn’t the Government simply buy a million more jobs at $50,000 each per year? Unemployment fixed, right?

TAXPAYERS are covering about $2500 of the cost of each Australian-made car with subsidies equivalent to as much as $50,000 for every employee directly involved in their manufacture.
Subsidies to the industry have averaged about $550 million a year for the past six years, not including the benefit of tariffs and the luxury car tax, according to the Productivity Commission.
So what exactly are taxpayers subsidising?
Holden and Toyota both say their manufacturing costs are about $3750 per car higher in Australia than in other markets… Manufacturing costs added $2000, mainly as a result of labour costs, which it said were double the cost per vehicle compared with European manufacturers, and four times the cost of Asia.
Holden, which has about 2000 staff directly involved in manufacturing at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia and its engine plant in Port Melbourne, received $96m in subsidies last year, or just under $50,000 per employee.Toyota, with 2500 manufacturing employees, received $72m in government grants, or $29,000 per employee.

As Grace Collier notes, taxpayers are paying for Holden’s inflated wages:
The Holden Enterprise Agreement is the document that has utterly sunk Holden’s prospects… Holden’s management masks a union culture beyond most people’s comprehension. Employment costs spiralled way beyond community standards long ago. Neither “pay freezes” nor more money will save Holden, but getting the Fair Work Commission to dissolve the agreement and put all workers on the award wage might be a start…
Holden begins each working day paying its workforce almost double what it should. After you add in the other employment costs, I estimate Holden’s workforce costs it somewhere close to triple the amount it should..
Terry McCrann:

It is not a good idea to pour billions of taxpayer money into a single company - and yes, we are talking about billions going forward - if that money is the only, and I do mean, the only, reason it keeps operating.
Secondly, that means the company could still up sticks and close at any time. No matter how many billions you poured in, that buys you nothing so far as future certainty is concerned.
Indeed, we’ve got an exact example of that with none other than Holden itself. The last deal it did with the federal, Victorian and SA governments was supposed to guarantee it would stay until at least 2022. Yet it’s now demanding more money or it will go at the same time as Ford at the end of 2016.
We give it more money, and all we guarantee is that - at best - it will ask for more...
So, after the billions spent on subsidies by Labor, what do we get? Rumors Holden is leaving anyway - rumors not convincingly denied by Holden:

Holden managing director Mike Devereux has rejected speculation the company has already decided to leave Australia.
“No decision has been made,” he told a Productivity Commission inquiry into taxpayer funding for the Australian car industry on Tuesday morning.

The news will be little relief for thousands of Holden workers, who, over the past week, have read stories of alleged leaks from unnamed federal government sources and at least one unnamed senior General Motors official in the US asserting that a decision had already been taken internally to close Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations…
Mr Devereux declined to answer questioning from the Productivity Commission, which is looking into public funding for auto manufacturing, about when the firm would hope to not need government funding… Mr Devereux said that the “business case for having an auto industry is understood all around the world”, because at least three jobs and perhaps up to six people were employed for every one that Holden gave a job in Australia…
He said this “$32.7 billion of economic activity” was “a very good return for the country....”.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Time for talking. Newspoll: Labor 52, Coalition 48

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (9:18am)


Time the Abbott Government revised its media strategy big time. Its problem isn’t the execution but the sale - and the hysterical opposition from the media Left:
image
More presence needed. More assertion. More narrative. And, I dare say, more independence for Ministers to create narratives of their own. 
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The Iran that’s given more rope by the West

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (9:13am)


The newly moderate Iran hailed in the media:

Iran has executed 529 people this year, including more 300 since President Hassan Rouhani assumed office in August, according to a tally compiled by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC).
The number of executions have significantly spiked since Rouhani took office, leading some to argue that this clashes with his image as a moderate reformer. Iran now has the dubious honor of being the global leader per capita in executions, according to the IHRDC.
(Thanks to reader ombudsman.) 
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Qantas is not Holden with wings

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (9:08am)


Qantas boss Alan Joyce denies he’s after a handout:

First, Qantas is not Holden. In stark contrast to Qantas, the car industry has received billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money over many years. Since privatisation in 1995, Qantas has performed strongly with no taxpayer subsidies and no tax concessions—nor are we asking for any now…
Second, Qantas is not looking for protection from the free market. On the contrary, the challenges Qantas faces are precisely because of the absence of a free and fair market. Virgin Australia’s 2012 restructure has enabled it to circumvent Australian law and pretend to be an Australian airline, when it is majority owned by three foreign government-backed airlines. Through Virgin, they are pouring money into our domestic market to weaken Qantas and ultimately funnel Australian traffic on their airlines and through their hubs…
Third, Qantas is not seeking an anti-competitive handout or bail out. We are talking to the Abbott government because legislation and regulatory decisions (the Qantas Sale Act, the Air Navigation Act, and decisions by the Foreign Investment Review Board) have created the uneven playing field we find ourselves playing on. We are seeking a fair go ...
Can’t see anything in that to object to at all. 
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Magistrate differs with Gillard on Blewitt

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (7:12am)

The AWU scandal

Julia Gillard last year on former client Ralph Blewitt, who claimed the “slush fund” she helped create for him and her boyfriend Bruce Wilson was used for a fraud:

Mr Blewitt, according to people who know him, has been described as a complete imbecile, an idiot, a stooge, a sexist pig, a liar and his sister has said he’s a crook and rotten to the core. His word against mine. Make your mind up.
Victoria’s chief magistrate, Peter Lauritsen on Blewitt:

One does not reject a person’s sworn evidence unless there is a powerful reason to do so.. In the circumstance of delay between the events and the statement, Blewitt gave adequate detail.
More from Lauritsen on Blewitt’s credit here.
Which helped lead to this finding:
VICTORIA’S most senior magistrate has found reasonable grounds to conclude that Julia Gillard’s former boyfriend was involved in a fraud, negating his right to claim privilege over documents held at her old law firm…
It is alleged Mr Wilson used the fund to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from construction giant Thiess and buy a house in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. After receiving evidence, including from lead investigator Ross Mitchell and Mr Wilson’s former bagman Ralph Blewitt, Mr Lauritsen said he was satisfied each document that met the requirements for privilege was “prepared in furtherance of the commission of a fraud or an offence"…
Mr Wilson was in a long-term relationship with Ms Gillard when she provided legal advice to help establish the association while working at Slater & Gordon, later describing it to her employer as a “slush fund”.
Gillard says she did nothing wrong and did not know what her boyfriend did with the slush fund. 
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Just radical Islamists? That’s all right, then

Andrew Bolt December 10 2013 (7:06am)


Russian president Vladimir Putin is a popular target of Western artists rightly concerned with the oppression of gays:

British pop icon Elton John has escaped serious criticism in Russia after using a sold-out Moscow concert to challenge a highly contentious law banning the “propaganda of homosexuality” to minors…
The only visible outrage came from a radical Islamist organisation that urged the authorities of Tatarstan to forbid him from performing Saturday in the region’s capital of Kazan.
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never turn back ..
go on and on ..
do not regret what you have left ..
because if it was back ..
to say that he did not want ..
the journey with you ..
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Soon to be available as a metal print!

The Mirror Called Merced. 

This is a nine image panoramic I shot in late fall at the Valley View area, while clouds formed off the face of El Capitan in dramatic fashion.
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2520753/Chinese-boyfriend-jumped-death-girlfriend-insisted-going-clothes-shop.html
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Sebastopol Twilight.
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CamMie Du
Dutch vanilla protein pancakes for breakfast! I'm a genius!! #12health #pancakes #breakfast#delicious @12health
Yum .. with maple syrup cinnamon and butter .. oh, and bacon .. ed===
Meh, sometimes the GOP look bad because they don't have the Presidency .. and no other reason - ed
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http://www.theage.com.au/world/dont-make-me-go-back-to-racist-australia-boat-race-protester-20131210-hv4zt.html
www.theage.com.au
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Aprille Love
MORNING EVERYONE! DONT FORGET TO BUY YOUR TICKETS TO Philippine Typhoon Christmas Benefit!!! THERE ARE ONLY 2 DAYS TO GO!! DONT MISS OUT ON OUR AMAZING LINE UP!!!
=

With 2 days to go until #help4haiyan charity event! JUST.KEEP.GOING. #morning
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www.theaustralian.com.au
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/politics-dominates-facebook-trends-in-2013/story-fn3dxiwe-1226779888292
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http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/aussies-grow-worlds-hottest-chilli.htm#.UqZCP9F5o8Q.facebook
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I am pleased to report that today I launched my new website.
Check it out at www.carolineglick.com

  • Pro Israel Pro Zionist Forum discussing CarolineGlick.com editorials and current...
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/10/opinion/why-machiavelli-matters.html?_r=0
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na.

Mike has a show coming up in January and he's going to feature his work on Metal Prints... I'll let him take it from here:

"Hey guys...so I'm looking for a little help. I have a gallery showing on January 3rd and need to get a bunch of awesome metal prints to display. I'd love to do some large 20x30s or 24x36's images, but they are costly when you want around 10 of them. So what I'm doing is offering these 10 prints (or others) for a fraction of the normal price. Almost cost. You'd buy the print now, I'd use it in the show and then deliver it to you afterwards. If I sell that print in the show, you'll obviously still get one but I'd have to order it again.

It's a win-win.

If you are interested drop me a message. Prices would be under $300. I'm looking to display the images in the link below, but if you see ANYTHING else you like in other galleries, I might consider that as well"

http://gallery.mikeolbinski.com/p1037888014

The prints have been going fast. He only has #5, #7, and #8 available now.>

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Look my love ..
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<" Sarah Hanson Young thought a photo-shopped picture did this:

Senator Hanson-Young says the article implied that being a sex object was the only thing she was good for, that she was not a serious politician, that she was a "joke" and that her asylum-seeking stance had exposed her to ridicule. "

1) Senator Hanson-Young says the article implied that being a sex object was the only thing she was good for…

IN HER FCUKING DREAMS

2) …that she was not a serious politician,

SHE GOT THAT BIT RIGHT LOL

3) that she was a "joke"

ANYONE LAUGHING ?

4) … that her asylum-seeking stance had exposed her to ridicule.

YES BUT WE ARE STIIL NOT LAUGHING.

and after all as Hanson confirmed it was just a thought.

Why must someone have to go to court to defend themselves against a thought.>

Zoo Weekly sorry for 'sexiest asylum seeker' competition
Sarah Hanson-Young photo-shopped by Zoo Weekly.
http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/zoo-weekly-sorry-for-sexiest-asylum-seeker-competition?fb_action_ids=10152482155809899&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210152482155809899%22%3A10151292671048219%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210152482155809899%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Men's magazine Zoo Weekly will print an apology for its controversial 'Australia's Hottest Asylum Seeker' competition in its upcoming edition after a public outcry.
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Brothers Grimm story come to life... http://www.news.com.au/world/new-twist-in-creepy-german-cannibal-case/story-fndir2ev-1226777979030
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4 her




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https://twitter.com/cvaldary/status/410065409493053440/photo/1/large?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=cvaldary&utm_content=410065409493053440
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Guess what popular business decided tradition trumps the Scrooges this Christmas season?
See here:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bristolpalin/2013/12/the-gap-switches-to-merry-christmas/
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Larry Pickering
MANDELA’S SAD SOUTH AFRICA
... but it's nothing a few decades won’t fix


The week-long Mandela epilogue will be an emotional farewell for South African blacks and coloureds and an excessive bore to others. Significant is the number of whites who also openly show grief at his passing. 

Those are people who believe a black person is no less a human being than a white person. They are white people who always believed apartheid was wrong... and if you don’t believe apartheid was wrong you should go find another blog.

The enormity of what Mandela achieved should never be underestimated.

Blood was spilled on both sides as it was in America where, in 1990, Tiger Woods would have been banned from the Masters at Augusta National Golf Course, only blacks could have been caddies and where women gained membership only last year.

Silky crooner, Nat King Cole, could only perform at nightclubs if he entered through the kitchen while his wife waited outside on the pavement.

Martin Luther King, in 1968, paid with his life in return for the eventual dismantling of segregation. It has always taken one great man to change a nation’s hereditary wrongs.

Nelson Mandela was one of those men and history will laud him as one of the greatest.

But what he achieved has been mostly symbolic. South Africa is still a wild, selfish and corrupt nation. Black rule has done nothing to advance the splintered ‘brotherhood’.

It’s a strange place... beautiful but different.

Everyone still carries hand guns. A business associate of mine always carried a huge ceramic gun.

I asked him one day, “Have you ever killed anyone with this thing?” “Oh yes”, he said, “I killed a couple of black dudes last week.” “Why, how?” I asked. “I caught them stealing my car.”
“Really?” “Well, they weren’t actually stealing it… they were sort of leaning on it!” “So you shot them?” “Yeah, I shot one of ‘em dead but the other guy took off… I had only winged him. So I got in the car and chased ‘im up the street. When I caught ‘im, I put a bullet in his forehead… couldn’t have ‘im testifying.”
“Bloody hell”, I knew he was fair dinkum.

There are still 40,000 murders committed in this country each year. Legally they have to keep the bodies for 18 months if they are not identified beforehand.

The mortuary is ten stories high and by the time a police report has been filled in on one murder, another eight have been committed.

Rape is commonplace and rarely reported. Stabbings are rampant and bodies are strewn along the sides of the roads near townships.

But nearly all killings are black-on-black. The tribal fighting is relentless and brutal.

During the apartheid period, the media in the West was misleading its viewers with clips of tanks tearing through black townships with guns blazing. The tanks were there solely to prevent the black-on-black gang killings.

Thousands of hungry blacks from northern countries drift into South Africa. All are looking for a better life, but their brothers are there waiting to ensure their lives are worse.

Of the almost 50 corrupt countries on the African continent, South Africa is the least corrupt yet it’s still a lawless place. You can drive at any speed you want. The police won’t pull you up… it’s too risky for them. A lot of blacks think it’s still preferable to shoot the cop rather than pay the speeding ticket.

Black (and I include Coloureds, Bushmen and Xhosa) persecution is rife. But sometimes it’s hard to find balance.

The pass-card system, that only allowed blacks in and out of the city at certain times during the day, was implemented for a different reason than what the West’s media told us.

The fathers of black families in the townships travelled to the city for work, (mainly stealing) but they wouldn’t return home with the money… if they did, the township’s black warlord would take whatever they earned anyway, so they stayed in town and drank it.

Then the family would travel to the city to find the father and hopefully some food. This resulted in thousands of families sleeping in the doorways of city buildings.

As the morning sun’s rays shifted to different parts of the streets, families would race to different doorways to soak up the warmth.

There were babies and toddlers who, if they didn’t die from disease, froze to death. A mattress was any piece of cardboard.

The “pass-card” law was there to force the father to return to the family each evening.

It is a horrible existence in the city and only marginally better than in the townships, where they are mercilessly ripped off by their own kind.

Apartheid is over now, but the blacks are far worse off because the laws framed to assist them were understandably taken better advantage of by the educated whites.

The “affirmative action” policy means those blacks who want a job could get a “whitie’s” job whenever they wanted, at the expense of the “whitie”.

This doesn’t work of course because it is only a “whitie” who can teach the black how to do the job. And the “whitie” knows how to sabotage potential competition to ensure his own tenure.

I learnt quickly that the Blacks were cowards… they only hunted, stole, raped and killed in packs.

I would walk home from the pub in the early hours. There would be a gang of blacks on each corner. The law of the jungle is: “Never run.”

If you even looked like you were trying to avoid them or you crossed to the other side of the road, it immediately excited them. They would kill you for your sneakers, but only if you were hopelessly outnumbered.

The solution? Walk straight through them, look each of them in the eye. They will stand aside. You are safe as long as you show no weakness.

If I was eating a cold chicken I would walk to the rubbish bin on the corner and stand in front of them and eat the chicken, throwing the bones in the bin. They would dive in the bin and fight like dogs over the bones.

If I was silly enough to give them half the chicken or try to share it with them, that would be a weakness, they were then likely to kill me for the entire chicken.

Sounds wrong? It sure does, but it’s easy to be critical from afar. Time spent in South Africa changes you.

I always figured if I was confronted by a lion I would walk deliberately toward it. The lion must be unsettled by this. This is not the way a lion kills.

I have seen, on the Discovery Channel, a lioness’s total confusion when prey doesn’t flee. It simply doesn’t know how to handle such a situation.

There was an amazing incidence of a bereft antelope calf approaching a lion. It was looking for its mother… it had no fear.

The lion didn’t kill it, it actually adopted it as its own “cub”.
The two lived inseparably for weeks until the calf died through lack of food. Even then the starving lioness didn’t eat it.

But I had respect for the blacks when it came to their kids.

Each week-day morning, children in their thousands would emerge from filthy cardboard and tin shanties, prepared for school.

They would jump the pools of excrement and skip hand in hand to the waiting government buses. Their uniforms were ironed and schoolbags and shoes were polished. They wore pristine white socks and shirts. Little girls’ hair was carefully combed and ribboned. Their parents see education as a way forward.

"Wanna go on a hunting trip?" asked an Afrikaans guy.
A bit of bush tucker sounded fine to me. "Sure, when and where?" "Any long weekend, we shoot up to Botswana. You'll love it!" I went to this bloke's place to see his gear... it was the best I had seen:

A camouflaged four-wheel drive with collapsible seats on the front mudguards and a row of every type of spotlight fixed to a frame on the roof. There were dull metal bars welded everywhere. Inbuilt generators, water tanks and the latest camping equipment.

"Ok, count me in... but is it legal to shoot game up there?" "Not really but we don't shoot game anyway... we shoot blacks."
I searched his face for a sign that he was kidding. There was none.

Hmmm... I'll never know for sure. But others did confirm the atrocity.

The deep divisions are still there and whites are doing it tough under an incompetent and corrupt black administration.

But if you believe in true democracy, and you do, then you must believe apartheid was wrong. If you believe in one-man one-vote, then apartheid was wrong. If you believe in the equality of mankind, then apartheid was wrong.

Nelson Mandela single handedly changed that when he finally tapped the consciences of good white men.

The world must surely owe him something.

===

Dai Le
Catching up with Van-Anh Nguyen - a great Australian Vietnamese and accomplished pianist! So awesome to have connected with her. ThanksMatt Jones for the introduction! We are bound to create something amazing together. — at Mekong Merchant.
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Me, some mornings .. ed
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Madu Odiokwu Pastorvin
You may not see a way out, but with God, all things are possible!
We serve a supernatural God.He is not limited by anything or anyone and He’s ready to do the impossible in your life this season, through His supernatural power.Throughout the Bible, we find people who received a supernatural touch from God that brought healing, joy, restoration and a purpose for living. We see God supernaturally empowering people to rise above and to walk in victory. 

This same supernatural power is available to you right now if you believe.God didn’t reserve His supernatural power only for the people mentioned in the Bible or for presidents or kings. God’s constantly doing the impossible in your life. He’s so loving and wants to bless you in amazing ways. In 2 Peter 1:3, the apostle said it this way, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence”. Isn’t that incredible? You don’t need to be stressed, or worried or afraid. You don’t have to wonder if you’re a “good enough” Christian to receive it. It has nothing to do with what you did or will ever do. By His divine (supernatural) power, God has given you everything you need. Don’t trust in your strength, your skills, or your talents. Trust in God.God bless you.
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Remember that if your vision is limitless, your potential is limitless.Don’t miss out.Go beyond the barriers and live the extraordinary life God has planned for you.You are blessed.
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A New Season Ahead - A Prophetic Word.
As I was spending time with the Lord this morning, He shared this word with me and I wanted to share it with you also. The Lord is calling His Church to a time of knowing Him in an intimate way.As you look at everything around you, it is hard to remember sometimes that the greatest miracles do not take place when we are slaving away like the Israelites in Egypt, but rather when we are in the wilderness with no other option than to rest in God

There is a season to sow and a season to reap. There is also a season to work and a season to rest. Now is a season to rest my child and in this time you will experience the growth that you have been seeking me for. For there was a season of work and it was good for you to sow and reap. It was good for you to work the ground as any farmer would.
However, now is the time to rest in my presence and to trust that I will bring the increase. For what miracle is it when you have done all the work by yourself? What miracle is it when you can boast in your own knowledge and skills to get the job done? No my child, you will come to realize that the greatest breakthrough does not come in the season of work, but in the season of rest.
For it is when you rest that I work! It is when you are weak that I am strong. It is when you lack that I provide with abundance. For I chose a weak and foolish people to confound the wise. I took the worse case scenario so that no one could doubt that I am God and that I can surely provide.
For my Church has forgotten my power and have thought that they need to bring the power on their own. They seek me for the anointing, but have stopped to ask me for the power in their daily lives. They have asked for my anointing, but yet marriages are torn apart. The enemy steals their finances and health. Instead of seeking me for my love, they seek a greater anointing as if it is a remedy that will wipe away all the struggles that they are going through.
No my child, my Church does not need more anointing – it needs me! My Bride needs to know that she has a groom that loves her and died for her. Would the wife of a wealthy man care for anything? Did Esther go out from the presence of the King to try and fend for herself? No, this would be foolish, for the king had more than enough to feed her.
Yet my bride so often leaves my presence to try and feed herself instead of resting in our relationship. Instead of trusting that I will bring all things to pass and cause the power to come upon her for wealth and blessing, she has gone out to make things happen for herself.
It is time that my bride comes to me once again and enters into rest. For it is in that moment of rest that you will experience the life changing power that you have been looking for. You will not find it in your striving. You will not find it in the world. You will not find it in the face of others. No, you will only find what you are looking for at my feet.
So enter into my season of rest and allow me to work. Allow your circumstances to fall at your feet. Allow your hands to drop at your side. Allow me to be your God! Allow me to prove myself to you. For when you stop trying to prove that you are strong. When you stop trying to prove that you can “make it” then I can step in and show you that the wisdom of man is foolishness to me!
The wealth of man is poverty to me. The strength of man is weakness to me. Come and know the boundless reach of my power and ability. Come and know me. Come and experience me in this season of rest and then you will surely understand what it means to be still and to know that I am God says the Lord.I pray you are encouraged to enter into God's rest today.With Love.God bless you.
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Pastor Rick Warren 
FREE to you: Saddleback's ADVENT APP of 30 Christmas Devotionals for iPhone AND Android. http://ow.ly/rflDa
saddleback.com
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Like everyone, I want to be liked. But I wont deny or compromise God's unpopular moral standards as I fear His disapproval more than yours.
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Someone quoted this on another thread.... "Ayatollah Khomeini said in 1979:
“We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah.
Patriotism is another name for paganism.
I say let this land [Iran] burn.
I say let this land go up in smoke,
provided Islam emerges triumphant
in the rest of the world. “===
I don't know how accurate this is, but my feeling is it has merit.
atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2013/11/iran-us-published-incorrect-version-of-the-agreement.html
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http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/evil-idf-helps-save-arab-kids-lives-yet.html
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http://www.michaelfreund.org/14121/misrepresenting-mandela
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http://www.meforum.org/3693/quakers-friends-anti-israel
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http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1213/obama_guarantees_israel_security.php3#.Uqbrb6WLNa9
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http://rubinreports.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/diplomacy-and-international-relations.html
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http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Gazas-Future-in-Jeopardy-as-Egyptian-Tunnel-Closure-Continues.html
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http://www.jta.org/2013/12/09/news-opinion/united-states/professors-group-calls-on-association-to-vote-down-academic-boycott-of-israel?utm_source=Newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=1687ebac57-JTA_Daily_Briefing_12_09_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2dce5bc6f8-1687ebac57-25375673
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http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1213/obama_israel_iran_realistic#.UqXDQ4i7qp0.facebook
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Our new production, Joy of Israel, was screened at the Jewish Film Festival in Jerusalem on Dec. 5th, the last night of Chanukah!!!
We at 12Tribe Films are excited to introduce to you the 3rd episode of our newest production - the Joy of Israel with Jamie Geller Episode #3 - Holy Hebron and Sweet Hebron Hills! Never before has the beauty of Israel been showcased for the world to see in reality TV format with the mission of educating, exciting and connecting people to Israel. This new series will reshape the entire image of living in Israel into one that is exciting, inspiring, and beautiful.
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This must be one of the best video presentations that clearly explains international law and the legal case for Israel and Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria. Definitely watch this to have a better understanding of international law so you can talk about Israel's situation intelligently with others.
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Join our mission - Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help us grow our network to reach hundreds of thousands of people to make a difference for Israel.
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The Lancet: Injecting Politics Into Medicine

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Hi everyone! Here's the MichelleMalkin.com newsletter for December 9th. Enjoy!

From the Blog

Of course not: Obamacare plans won’t cover treatment at top hospitals

The short version of this story is that people will definitely be seeing more of these signs...

Ezekiel Emanuel: You can keep your doctor … as long as you’re willing to pay more

Ezekiel Emanuel is often referred to as an “architect” of Obamacare, and now that the building he helped design is collapsing, Emanuel’s trying to convince everybody that a pile of rubble is exactly what was promised...

Obama admin: It’s now ok for wind turbines to kill eagles because we’re trying to save the environment

News flash: You’re now allowed to kill bald eagles, but only if the people who care more about the earth’s inhabitants than you do consider your purpose just...

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And ... Our Hate Tweet of the Day

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Nightmares, huh? In that case ... sweet dreams. Mwahaha!
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Alfred Nobel
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5,8NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you."
Isaiah 30:18
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day--he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that "the thorn in the flesh" might be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead thereof a promise that God's grace should be sufficient for him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in? Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if he keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.

Evening

"My people shall dwell in quiet resting places."
Isaiah 32:18
Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord's people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.
"I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.
'Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah's name,
'Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:
The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,
This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh."
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Today's reading: Daniel 11-12, Jude 1 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Daniel 11-12

1 And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)
The Kings of the South and the North
2 "Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will arise in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. 3Then a mighty king will arise, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. 4After he has arisen, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others.
5 "The king of the South will become strong, but one of his commanders will become even stronger than he and will rule his own kingdom with great power. 6 After some years, they will become allies. The daughter of the king of the South will go to the king of the North to make an alliance, but she will not retain her power, and he and his power will not last. In those days she will be betrayed, together with her royal escort and her father and the one who supported her....

Today's New Testament reading: Jude 1

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:
Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
The Sin and Doom of Ungodly People
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God's holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord....
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Micah, Michah, Mica, Micha[Mī'cah,Mī'chah, Mī'că, Mī'cha]—who is like jehovah.
  1. An Ephramite who hired a Levite to be priest to his image (Judg. 1718 ). This unworthy character brought great calamity to Israel. Dr. C. I. Scofield says of Micah’s consecration of the Levite that it affords a striking illustration of apostasy. “With his entire departure from the revealed will of God concerning worship and priesthood there is yet an exaltation of false priesthood. Saying, ‘Blessed be thou of Jehovah,’ Micah’s mother makes an idol; and Micah expects the blessing of Jehovah because he has linked the idolatry to the ancient levitical order.”
  2. The head of a family of Reuben (1 Chron. 5:5).
  3. A son of Mephibosheth , grandson of Saul (1 Chron. 8:34359:4041).
  4. A Levite of the family of Asaph ( 1 Chron. 9:15). SeeMICHA.
  5. A son of Uzziel, a Kohathite (1 Chron. 23:2024:2425).
  6. Father of Abdon whom Josiah sent to enquire of the Lord when the Law was found (2 Chron. 34:20).
  7. The prophet surnamed the Morasthite, and called Michaiah in the V.L. (Jer. 26:18Mic. 1:1).

The Man of Strong Convictions

Micah prophesied during the reign of Jothan, Ahaz and Hezekiah (Mic. 1:1Jer. 26:18 ). He was a younger contemporary of Hosea. He is called “the Morasthite” since he came from Moresheth Gath. Micah, unlike Isaiah, was no politician. He did not censure the habit of looking to Egypt or to Assyria for help. He denounces the depravity of the nation, and threatens the vengeance of God. Isaiah prophesied to royalty, Micah ministered to common people, the sort who heard Jesus gladly. Isaiah was a courtier; Micah, a rustic from an obscure town some twenty-five miles southwest of Jerusalem.
Micah was probably a yeoman, farming his own plot of land, and in vivid sympathy with the class to which he belonged. The land hunger of rich men, always to be deprecated, was positively dangerous to a country like Palestine with little foreign trade, relying mainly on the produce of the soil for the support of its citizens. The grasping avarice of large landholders doomed to poverty a considerable part of the population, and so Micah stands out as a preacher to the poor and oppressed. He regarded selfish luxury, joined with oppression of the poor, as the crowning sin of Judah. The people were heavily taxed, the Assyrians demanding large payments in tribute to satisfy their lavishness in their architectural magnificence. Thus Zion was built up with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity (Mic. 3:10). Because of such exaction and idolatry, Micah was called and empowered to declare the judgment of God (Mic. 3:8).
Micah was a man of strong convictions and corresponding courage, and as a true preacher, uncovered sin and pointed to the coming Christ. As a prophet he went against the stream and uttered truths the people did not want. For this he was consequently stoned—the usual lot of a faithful prophet. His cry, in essence, was:
Back to Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2 ). In other words, back to the Messianic hope. Back to David, who did so much for the nation, and to whom God promised He would raise up the Messiah. Back to David, the constant ideal of the monarchy. The Messiah of Israel’s coming golden age would be like David.
Back to ethical righteousness (Mic. 6:8). Micah brushed aside all former ritual in favor of a righteousness given by God, and that had a heart for the need of others. It was a righteousness based upon God’s salvation.
Back to the prince of peace ( Mic. 4:1-35:2-7). Micah heralded the message that the reign of the Messiah was Israel’s only hope of peace. We know it to be the only hope of world peace. The Messianic predictions form the most significant passages in Micah.
The most outstanding incident in Micah’s prophetic career was his preaching which led to the reformation under Hezekiah ( Jer. 26:18). When king and people sought God and repented, He turned from the fierceness of His anger. The humble crofter of Philistia was chosen as God’s messenger to the people, and the secret of his power was the fulness of the Holy Spirit (Mic. 3:8).
The book Micah wrote is characterized by deep spirituality, with a simple, but not rugged style. Sin and corruption, the sighing and agony of the people over the misrule of men in authority, the insistence on return to God, are all dealt with in no uncertain tones (Mic. 1:23:16:1 ). Broadly speaking, Micah’s prophecy can be divided thus:
Chapters one, two and three—judgment.
Chapters four and five—comfort.
Chapters six and seven—salvation.
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December 9, 2011
God Make You Mighty, Girlfriend!
Today's Truth
But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11 NIV).
Friend to Friend
The Family Life Today show on my local Christian radio station once featured an author named Ace Collins who wrote a historical book about Christmas carols. One traditional carol they talked about was the song, "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen."
Before that day, the first line of that song never made sense to me. The title, "God rest ye, merry gentlemen," seemed too old-school-English to embrace. Was it encouraging us to sleep happily? I just didn't get it. But, I'm excited to share with you that the scales have fallen from my eyes! What I learned about this song is really cool, and I think you are going to find it fascinating as well...
Ace explained to the listeners that he had dug through a bunch of English text from the 1500 and 1600s. One of the first things he learned about this carol was that the comma in our modern day version is actually misplaced in the title. It's not "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen." It's supposed to read, "God Rest Ye MerryGentlemen." While that information alone might not seem to make a difference, this next bit of information will bring the main point home. His research revealed that back in the day this song was written, the word "rest" actually meant "make" or "keep." And the word "merry" actually meant "mighty" or "great."
So...if we put that all together - in a modern translation - it should sing:
"God make you mighty, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day;
To save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy."
If you would allow me the freedom, I'd like to translate this even further. Call it the Girlfriends In God Revised Edition. This is powerful:
"God make you mighty, girlfriend! Do not be upset, discouraged, or frightened!
Jesus came to earth to take on our brokenness and sin so that we could be made beautiful and whole in Him! This is great news, which should bring you comfort and joy! Rejoice!"
Have a mighty Christmas! Have a powerful Christmas! Our hope is alive because 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ left His throne in heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered and died for our sin, and defeated death in resurrection. This is surely "good news of great joy!" (Luke 2:10).
Celebrate Christmas this year in His strength, in His peace, and in His joy. God make you mighty, girlfriend!
Let's Pray
Lord, You are mighty and powerful. No matter what I face, I want to walk in Your might instead of my weakness. Help me to remember that Your Word says: "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
In Jesus' Name,
Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
What do you need to be mighty in this Christmas season? Forgiveness? Grace? Understanding? Patience?
Is there something that is causing you to be fearful, discouraged, or upset? Pray about it right now and ask God for His strength to consume your weakness.
More from the Girlfriends
CHRISTMAS is right around the corner! If you still have people on your list to shop for, my newest CD, Uncluttered, is a great gift idea. The songs of Uncluttered are purposed to sweep you away from life-noise and to focus your heart and mind on the one thing that matters: your relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a low-priced bundle SPECIAL available too! For more information, go tohttp://www.gwensmith.net/store/specials.htm.
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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LeAnn Rice
December 9, 2011
When Christmas is Hard
LeAnn Rice
"He heals the brokenhearted..." Psalm 147:3 (NIV)
Looking at the calendar, I counted the number of days till Christmas. I'd done it every year, eagerly looking forward to celebrating Christ's birth or surprising someone with the perfect Christmas gift.
However, this time I was counting down the days not with excitement, but with dread.
My husband Ron passed away in April. That Christmas would be one of many dreaded "firsts" that my son and I would have without him.
Fragile, shattered and alone describe my feelings that holiday season. While everyone else seemed caught up in happy festivities, their family togetherness magnified my lonely brokenness.
Along with overwhelming grief, I was worried. How would I financially support us? How could I help my son have a fun holiday when I could hardly stop crying? It all seemed like too much.
Maybe you understand because this holiday season is hard for you too. A loved one may have passed or someone you love is battling a serious illness. This might be your first holiday separated or divorced. Just as I did, you may be feeling grief, dread or worry.
That first Christmas without my husband was fourteen years ago. Its taken time, but over the years I've adopted some practices to help me find joy during the Christmas season. I'd love to share with you today.
Honor your loved one. My husband's absence at special occasions still weighs on my heart years later. To honor his memory, Nick and I place a special ornament on our Christmas tree. It hangs front and center as a reminder Ron is a part of every celebration, because he is a part of us. Perhaps you can hang an ornament on your tree, give a gift in your loved one's honor, or make a donation in their memory to an organization that was dear to their heart. Consider making their favorite meal and sharing stories about them as you gather around your Christmas table.
Create new traditions. I always loved a big, family-oriented holiday with noise and messiness. Because my extended family lives far away, Nick and I needed to find a new "family" close by. Over the years, God has sent people to fill the empty spaces in our lives and hearts. One of my favorite new traditions is to spend an evening with my friends where I make a big Christmas dinner. We celebrate together with food, fellowship and all the noise and messiness I crave.
Share Christ's comfort. I've experienced God's promise to heal my broken heart, as today's key verse reminds us. Much of my healing has come from the love He's sent through other people. Because of this, I keep my eyes open for those who might be grieving or sad at the holidays. I've found that comforting others brings me comfort.
This year as I anticipate the Christmas season, I'll experience a familiar combination of emotions. Sadness will tug at my heart as I miss celebrating this special time with my husband, but I'm excited to celebrate what only Christ can do - heal my broken heart. The comfort He brings is one of the many reasons to celebrate His birth this Christmas season.
Dear Lord, thank You for Your faithful presence and comfort during my sadness. I pray that especially during this Christmas season my eyes will be open to others who are hurting. Please help me to love them for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
For ideas on reaching out to others, as well as helpful organization tips, decorating, menu planning ideas, and seeking Christ in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, download our new e-book, Untangling Christmas: Your Go-To Guide for a Hassle-Free Holidayby Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice.
Visit LeAnn's A Widow's Might website for practical ways you can bring hope to those around you this holiday season and throughout the year, regardless of your budget.
Application Steps:
Ask God to show you someone who needs comforting this Christmas and pray about ways to share His love in a tangible way. Their grief, as well as yours, will be softened.
Reflections:
What new tradition can I create in recognition of this new season of life?
What traditions do I want to keep in honor of my loved one?
In my sadness, have I run away from God or to Him? How can I keep turning to Him?
Power Verses:
Jeremiah 31:13, "...I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow." (NIV)
2 Corinthians 1:34, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (NIV)
© 2011 by LeAnn Rice. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org
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Sentenced to Death

Matthew 27:24-26 "Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified" (v. 26).
Ultimately, Pontius Pilate does not believe that Jesus wants to supplant the caesar and destroy the Roman Empire as an Israelite king. Several factors explain why he finds no fault in Jesus (Matt. 27:11-23). First, whether through outside sources or his own intuition, Pilate sees that Caiaphas and the other leaders seek Jesus' death out of envy, not the truth (v. 18). Secondly, his wife has had a nightmare about the events transpiring ( v. 19) and sees involvement in the death of Jesus as disastrous for Pilate. Finally, the response of Jesus Himself to His accusers strongly refutes their accusations. John's gospel tells us that at one point in the trial our Savior assures Pilate that His kingdom is "not of this world" (18:36) and therefore not interested in the violent overthrow of the caesar. Coupled with this is Jesus' appearance before Pilate bound and beaten, which likely convinces him that the Nazarene is no real threat to the Empire.
Jesus' innocence, however, makes Pilate no less willing to give in to his fear of a riot and have Jesus crucified to prevent an uprising (Matt. 27:26). Ultimately, this compounds his guilt - to commit the great sin of executing the Lord of glory Pilate must unashamedly cast justice aside. Moreover, the gathered mob is not excused for demanding Christ's death simply because they are following their leaders (v. 20 ). But if in this mob there are those who once hailed Jesus as David's heir (21:1-11), why do they follow along? It is because they want a violent conqueror and their expectations cannot accept that this bound man is God's Messiah. Barabbas is willing to overthrow Rome by any means necessary (Mark 15:7); thus, the people prefer him over the humble Jesus (Matt. 27:21).
Pilate futilely tries to shift blame to the crowd, and, tragically, the crowd's acceptance of responsibility for Jesus' death has been used over the centuries to justify anti-Semitism (v. 25). Many professing Christians have literally brought blood upon Jewish people, a gross misuse of the text given that Jesus and His disciples are Jewish and that the crowd is speaking for itself, not an entire ethnic group. In reality, all people are guilty of having Christ killed, for our sin made His death necessary in the first place ( Rom. 3:21-26).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

A select group of corrupt religious leaders and unjust Roman officials are those who enacted the legal procedures that resulted in Jesus' death. Yet in a sense, we all killed Jesus, because had we not sinned, there would have been no need of His death. It is sobering to realize that we put Jesus on that cross; still, He went there willingly so that we could be forgiven of our sin. How amazing is God's marvelous grace!
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
Joel
For the weekend:
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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Pope Leo I

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Born into an aristocratic family ten years before the sack of Rome, Leo (c. 400 – 461) is singled out by the emperor to serve as a diplomatic envoy in settling a dispute in Gaul. While he is away, the bishop of Rome dies, and Leo is unanimously elected to fill the post. He secures power, insisting that popes are in a direct line of succession from the apostles and that anyone who rejected papal authority was not within the "body of Christ." He consolidates this authority by moving against heretics, particularly Pelagians and Manicheans.
Leo, in the judgment of many historians, is the first real pope. Not always specifying the head of the church, the term pope was used for bishops and as a broad term of respect for church officials. True papal supremacy is not clearly defined until the reign of Leo, coming to full bloom under Gregory I.
Leo's rule was theological as well as political. In 448, Leo receives a letter from Eutyches, an abbot in a monastery near Constantinople. Eutyches writes of the influence of the Nestorian heresy, but then he himself comes under fire for allegedly subscribing to the same heresy and is excommunicated by Bishop Flavian. He asks Leo to reinstate him, and when Leo fails to act, he is absolved in a "robber council," an action that is perceived to be a threat to papal power and is promptly annulled by Leo.
In 449 Leo writes a letter to Bishop Flavian. This "Tome of Leo" becomes a key document as the church continues to define orthodoxy at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Here Leo's definition of the two natures of Christ is deemed the orthodox position. He accuses Eutyches of seeking to "dissolve Jesus" in his endeavor "to separate the human nature from him, and to make void by shameless inventions that mystery by which alone we have been saved." Leo charges Eutyches with thinking "the Lord's crucifixion to be unreal."
Eutyches, seventy years old and the head of a monastery of some three hundred monks, refuses to appear before Bishop Flavian, convinced that the deck is stacked against him. When he finally does appear and is questioned, he waffles on precisely what he is willing to confess. But the statement he makes leaves no doubt among the supporters of Leo that he is a heretic. "I confess that our Lord was of two natures before the union, but after the union I confess one nature."
Leo regards such a confession as blatant heresy, seeking to clarify the incarnation and the twofold nature of Christ with words that rise above dry dogma: "Without detriment therefore to the properties of either nature and substance which then came together in one person, majesty took on humility, strength weakness, eternity mortality."
Heresy is not the only matter weighing Leo down. Only a few years after the landmark Council of Chalcedon, he faces a desperate situation in Rome; barbarians again threaten to sack the city. Attila, nicknamed "the scourge of God," is making his way to Rome. One early account serves to establish Leo as "the Great" for the centuries that follow. According to the anonymous author, Attila "came into Italy, inflamed with fury . . . He was utterly cruel in inflicting torture, greedy in plundering, insolent in abuse." Leo stands strong, approaching Attila and saying, "We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings . . . the people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy." This account records the appearance of Peter and Paul, who "threatened Attila with death if he did not obey the pope's command. Wherefore Attila . . . straightway promised a lasting peace and withdrew beyond the Danube."
That Leo served both as head of state and chief diplomat demonstrated the weakness of Imperial Rome since the events of 410. But his talking down Attila surely did not signal the end of the invasions of the city. Some years later, Vandal marauders moving northward from Africa pillaged the city despite Leo's pleas. For the next years, until his death in 461, he took charge of cleanup and restoration as well as ministering to those who had been taken captive to Africa.

If you enjoyed the above article, please take a minute to read about the book that it was adapted from:
ParadeofFaith-Bookcover

Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church

by Ruth A. Tucker
Buy the book!
The story of Christianity centers on people whose lives have been transformed by the resurrected Lord. Tucker puts this front and center in a lively overview peppered with sidebars; historical "what if?" questions; sections on everyday life; drawings and illustrations; bibliographies for further reading.


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Welcome to week 2 of our Top 20 Countdown of Christmas Music!

We asked our visitors what their favorite Christmas songs were and compiled the results. This week we're looking at numbers 15-11:

15. Away in a Manger

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14. Angels We Have Heard on High

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13. Do You Hear What I Hear

doyouhearwhatIhear

12. The First Noel

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11. Breath of Heaven

breathofheaven

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Sentenced to Death

A select group of corrupt religious leaders and unjust Roman officials are those who enacted the legal procedures that resulted in Jesus' death. Yet in a sense, we all killed Jesus, because had we not sinned, there would have been no need of His death. It is sobering to realize that we put Jesus on that cross; still, He went there willingly so that we could be forgiven of our sin. How amazing is God's marvelous grace!
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
Joel
For the weekend:
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. 
ADVERTISEMENT
===

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Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

Hymn Story:
"Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" is thought to be a very old Polish carol, of unknown origin. It was published in Spiewniczek Piesni Koscielne in 1908 and speaks of the stable scene-baby Jesus lying in a manger bed with the animals nearby. It also speaks of the hillside where shepherds heard the story from the angels and rejoiced.
The short rhymed phrases move the piece forward, pointing to the final statement and the purpose of the song: "Christ the babe is Lord of all."
Devotional:
With all the presents to buy, parties to plan, and trees to decorate, the Christmas season seems to fly quickly by. Soon, Christmas has passed. And so often, a feeling of sadness creeps in as we leave the parties and put the Christmas decorations away for another year.
But why should we feel sad after Christmas? Sure, the excitement of presents and holiday specials may be over. Yet at its core, Christmas gives us a reason to celebrate all year long. A Savior has been born! And because of that, we have a hope that no Christmas tree or party could ever give us.
Through the familiar words of "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly," we can remember to rejoice-even after Christmas day has passed. For after recounting the story of Jesus' birth, the carol encourages us: "Thus rejoicing, free from sorrow, Praises voicing, greet the morrow."
We need not let disappointment creep in after Christmas. Instead, we can keep rejoicing-free from sorrow-because our Savior has set us free from sin. In simple actions such as reading the gospels, singing hymns of praise, or writing a letter of gratitude to God, we can "greet the morrow" with true joy, even when the earthly Christmas celebrations are over.
So if sadness threatens after the holidays, remember that the Christmas story hasn't ended. It goes on-to the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb. And ultimately, the story continues with you, for as our carol joyfully proclaims, "Christ, the Babe, was born for you!"
Facts:
Lyrics: Traditional Polish Carol Translator: Edith M. G. Reed Translation Date: 1921 Music: Traditional Polish Melody Theme: Christmas, Jesus Christ, Nativity Tune Title: W ZLOBIE LEZY Arranger: David Hugh Jones Arrange Date: 1953 Meter: 8.7.8.7.8.8.7. Key: G Scripture: Rev 17:14
Copyright © 2011 Center for Church Music

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Thanks to the Center for Church Music'sSongsandHymns.orgfor providing the content of this newsletter! Please considerdonating to their ministry.
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Advent-Header-2011
The Joy of Giving
by Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NCV): "Each one should give as you have decided in your heart to give. You should not be sad when you give, and you should not give because you feel forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily."

Friend to Friend

One of my favorite authors, Richard Foster, writes, "Giving with glad and generous hearts has a way of routing out the tough old miser within us. Even the poor need to know that they can give. Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed." God loves to see us give for no other reason than the joy of giving.

The true story is told of a self-made millionaire who had lived in New York City his entire life. Born and raised in a ghetto, he worked hard and achieved much. Anyone who knew this man would testify to the fact that he was generous--to a fault, some would say. One year, the man was disturbed by an attitude of selfishness and greed that seemed to pervade the Christmas holiday season and everyone around him. Not one to condemn, the millionaire decided that since he had been given so much, it was up to him to do his part in combating greed and came up with an unusual plan. Wearing a disguise, this man stuffed his pockets with $100 dollar bills and set out for a walk on the streets of New York City. When he saw someone in need, he whipped out one of the bills, pressed it into that person's hands and with a "Merry Christmas," made his way down the street. "It was the most wonderful part of my holiday season," the man reported, and he has been doing it every since.

God is much more interested in our motive for giving than in the gift itself. If that motive is tainted with greed, the gift simply does not count. A powerful way to guard against greed is to choose joy over greed. Giving with joy is Kingdom giving! Before you give, ask yourself, "What’s in it for me?" If the answer is "nothing," then go ahead and give the gift.

When our children were in middle school, we owned what I affectionately called a "Mini-Gym." It was a set of bar bells, a weight lifting bench and a few free weights. Both Jered and Danna loved their "gym" and used it almost every day. When Christmas rolled around, we learned that two of their good friends, Jeff and Jeremy, were not going to have much of a Christmas because their dad had lost his job. Jered came up with a plan. "Mom," he said, "Danna and I have talked about it. We think that Jeff and Jeremy would love to have the gym. But we don’t want them to know we gave it to them, because they might be embarrassed. What do you think?" I thought I was in the presence of two joyful givers and quickly joined them in their plan.

A few days before Christmas, Jered and I took the gym apart and loaded it in our car while Danna found a huge red bow. Together, we made a sign that read, "Merry Christmas! We love you!" Danna blew up balloons while Jered dug out some Christmas lights. We enlisted the help of a neighbor who had a key to our friend’s house and joined in the fun by agreeing to find out when the coast was clear, unlocking the back door and letting us in. At the designated time, off we went, laughing and singing Christmas carols. We parked down the street until the neighbor called, giggling, to let us know she was all set. Once we were inside, we raced to assemble the gym, post the sign, tie the balloons and tape the lights to the front door, leading our friends to their Christmas surprise on the back porch. We then high-tailed it home as if the FBI was hot on our trail! The neighbor reported that just minutes after the boys returned, she heard shouting and "whooping and hollering." The joy of that Christmas still lingers today. Greed doesn’t hold a candle to joyful giving!

Greed is never satisfied and never at rest. There is always something more to be gained and someone else to outdo. Take sheep, for example. Sheep are dumb enough to eat until they are sick. They simply do not know when to stop. A heart that is filled with greed behaves the same way. I am afraid our heart motives are all too frequently self-serving when it comes to giving. Our pride is at stake, so we give to impress others. Perhaps, we give out of fear and guilt, hoping to buy God's forgiveness from our sin. People are watching, so we give in order to gain their approval. What is the solution? Giving! Giving is a powerfully effective deterrent to greed when we give for no other reason than the joy of giving.

Proverbs 11:24-25: "Some people give much but get back even more. Others don’t give what they should and end up poor. Whoever gives to others will get richer; those who help others will themselves be helped."

I once read an article that described three types of givers. The first kind of giver is the "flint." To get anything out of a flint, you have to hammer it, and even then, you only get chips and sparks. A second kind of giver is the "sponge." You have to squeeze it and the more pressure you use, the more you will get. The third kind of giver is the honeycomb. It just overflows. What kind of giver are you? Experience the joy of Christmas when you experience the joy of giving. Merry Christmas!

Let's Pray

Father, thank You for all You have given me. Help me to be the kind of giver that points people to You. I choose against my pride or any wrong motive for giving Christmas gifts this year. I choose to keep my eyes on You and my glance on the world. I love you! In Jesus' name, amen.

Now It's Your Turn

We make a living by what we get out of life, but we make a life by what we give and how we give it. Beecher wrote, "No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. The heart makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." How do these words relate to your life this Christmas?

Take inventory of your "stuff." Make an actual list. Then set aside a time of prayer and solitude during which you give each one to God.

Consider giving an anonymous gift and recruit your family to help.

Today's Advent reading is from the Girlfriends in Goddevotional ministry. There is no Advent devotional email tomorrow (Saturday); the next email will be on Sunday, when we'll introduce a new set of Scripture passages to reflect on throughout the week.
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Today's Advent reading is taken from Girlfriends in God, a non-denominational devotion and conference ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers.

Through daily on-line devotions, conferences, published books, CDs and music videos, God is using this incredible team of women to bring the hope and healing of Jesus Christ to a hurting world.
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FRB-Christmas-Story-BookCover-SmallReading 4: God's People Ask for Salvation

This psalm, or song, was written as a prayer to God when the nation of Israel was torn apart by a foreign nation, probably Assyria. God’s people had to flee from their homes and farms. They suffered many hardships. They longed for God to send someone to save them from their enemies and restore their nation. At this time, God’s people described the nation as a vine that had been planted but had now been trampled and burned.

Psalm 80:1-19 
1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might;
come and save us.
Restore us, O God;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
4 O LORD God Almighty,
how long will your anger smolder
against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears;
you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors,
and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, O God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it,
and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its boughs to the Sea,
its shoots as far as the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls
so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it
and the creatures of the field feed on it.
14 Return to us, O God Almighty!
Look down from heaven and see!
Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted,
the son you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire;
at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand,
the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you;
revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O LORD God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us,
that we may be saved.
Further Study
JUST THE FACTS
  1. Where does God sit? (v. 1)
  2. What did this writer ask for? (vv. 2 – 3)
  3. What happened to the vine? (vv. 8 – 11,16)
LET’S TALK
  1. Why do you think the writer used the word picture of a vine? Why not just say “Israel”?
  2. What did the people promise to do if God sent them a ruler? (v. 18) What did they mean by saying they would call on God’s name and not turn away?
WHY THIS MATTERS
God’s people continued to plead with God to show mercy and save them. He answered this plea many centuries later by sending his Son, Jesus.
POINTS OF INTEREST
80:1 Cherubim are a special kind of angel. They were guardians protecting the way to the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. They also protected the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle and in the temple. In this psalm they are said to guard God’s heavenly throne. Cherubim are described as having wings and a combination of human and animal characteristics.
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A Christmas Devotional

JESUS

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. - Luke 2:7
Sometimes a name is just a name, and sometimes a name captures someone perfectly. The ancients inclined to choose names carefully, so as to make a lifelong statement about a person's identity. "Jesus" is a name so familiar to us, that we easily forget that it was a name with an extraordinary significance. The name an angel announced should be given to Mary and Joseph's new child. And what a name! "Jesus" means "the Lord saves."
He does indeed.
Call him Jesus, the angel said, "because he will save people from their sins." None of us can save ourselves anymore than a person sinking in a rowboat can save himself by pulling up on the side of the boat. We need a savior, and not just a theoretical savior, but one who really has the power of God to separate us from the tyranny and the guilt of sin.
Now for good reason we associate the saving work of Jesus with his sacrificial death on the cross. But there would not have been a saving sacrifice if there had not been an incarnation. Bethlehem was the start of the mission. We don't need to wait until Good Friday and Easter to celebrate the savior. The saving started at the birth of Jesus.
Mary and Joseph could not have understood all this, of course. They were obedient and named the newborn Jesus, "the Lord saves," but how and when that would be was a mystery to them. Not so for us. This side of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus we know the extent of the saving love of God.
Prayer for today: Lord, make me more aware today of my sins, and help me know that they shrink before the powerful person of Jesus.
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Myth: “He’s not a Christian, but he’s a great guy.”

I didn't know what to say when Richard asked the question. Does Kevin go to church? Hello, I thought you were going to be happy for me! I remember thinking, I've finally found someone I really like, and things are going great.
Still, Richard is my partner at work, and he and his wife know everything there is to know about me. They know I grew up in church. And they also know I dated a few guys from the church singles group. But there just wasn't any chemistry. I had always dreamed that God would have the perfect person picked out for me and deliver him right to my door. However, I was fast approaching the big 3-0, and it still hadn't happened. In fact, I had almost given up, figuring I was destined to be single for the rest of my life, and then Kevin came along. We met at the gym. I would have married him on the spot for his calves alone. However, it was his smile that really got to me. We kept running into each other in the mornings before work, and he finally asked me to go out one weekend. We talked for hours that first night, as if we'd known each other forever. He was wonderful.
Over the next few weeks, as my relationship with Kevin grew, Richard started to ask me more questions. "Does Kevin know you're a Christian? Have you told him about your faith?" I fended him off with a few cursory answers. "Kevin didn't grow up in church like you and I did," I told him. "But I think he gets it, or at least he's pretty close." Richard didn't seem satisfied with my answer. Truthfully, something inside of me cringed when I said it. But I'm not going to let anything or anyone spoil my happiness. Who's to say Kevin isn't the man I dreamed of all along? He'll probably become a Christian at some point in our relationship, and then everything will be perfect.
-Christy
Do you believe love stories like Isaac and Rebekah's can happen? Two people who aren't even from the same country brought together by God's hand. But oh, the things we're willing to believe in the midst of a man-drought. When the phone isn't ringing because no one's calling. When we spend another Valentine's Day with the cat. There's a "certain age," you know, past which all of our mothers' friends believe the odds for us finding the man of our dreams plummet. Add to the mix the complication of a Christian woman looking for a Christian man-and the situation becomes even more discouraging. We begin to convince ourselves that we somehow missed God's best. Maybe that's the problem. We just weren't open before-our standards were too high. And so, now we're not being desperate; we're being open. Unfortunately, that's when we begin to rationalize whatever we want to fit the ideal.
He's not super-spiritual, but show me a man who is.
He has such great potential-he needs someone like me to encourage him.
It's important to note that we won't change God's mind, even though we can list all sorts of factors in favor of our decision to marry outside of our convictions. The Bible's warning not to marry a non-Christian is very clear (see 2 Corinthians 6:14 ). Think about it. How will you celebrate Christmas and Easter? Or discipline your children? Will your husband understand wanting to tithe from your joint account? Will he mind if you're gone for part of every Sunday? How do you feel about having a quiet time alone? The issues range from minor to major.
If you're single and lonely, God knows it. If you're approaching a certain age, God knows how old you are. And he is not worried. The important thing is not to be married ... it's to be married to the right person. And God can bring that person unexpectedly, just as he did for Isaac and Rebekah. Feelings and emotions can be disastrously misleading in this area. That's why we have to hold onto God's Word, not a wish list, and let God dictate our decision whether or not to marry someone.
"He's Mr. Almost for now, but perhaps with one change he could become Mr. Right. Before your heart rides off into the sunset ... hold out for someone who has the same goal and the same faith. By not settling, you will have peace of mind in knowing you did what was right for yourself, your children and, yes, even Mr. Almost."
-Alice Crider
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"
2 Corinthians 6:14

See also

Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9; 1 Corinthians 2:14
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NIV Women's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan


The New Women's Devotional Bible helps a new generation of Christian women apply God's Word to their lives.
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