Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sat Feb 22nd Todays News

The upcoming movie Noah is attracting criticism. It stars Russell Crowe and some critics are saying that his performance is too dark for a depiction of the end of the world. The producers are still road testing the endings before test audiences. Different Christian authorities are disputing aspects of the film. The text that the story is based on is bare, and leaves much to be imagined. For mine, the most objectionable aspect is the emphasis on climate change and overpopulation. Neither of which were biblical issues in the event. The wrong religion has been sourced. But Hollywood won't admit that, instead they have to claim that there wasn't enough singing and dancing. And another biblical text is seen being repeated, with Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Today is an anniversary of a powerful act of God, in a legal sense. The NZ city of Christchurch, home to friends of mine, was humbled by an earthquake on this day in 2011. Three years on and she is rebuilding, but there is still pain. One friend of mine recounted how their parents had a collection of crystal glass figurines. An earlier earthquake had damaged much, but the figurines were ok. But on this day, in 2011, the figurines were no more. Landmarks over a hundred years old were taken. It is a reminder that nothing is owned by anyone forever. Do not build your homes on sand. 

Some will argue about the existence of religious stories, including biblical accounts. Personally, I can think of few things more stupid than hoping to find Noah's Ark. I am a fundamentalist Christian, I believe in the word of God. But I respectfully point out the Bible is not a science textbook, but a text from many authors, inspired by God, writing of man's relationship with God. The Mosaic stories are not first hand accounts of events, but based on older stories illustrating how God revealed himself to his chosen people. The precise meaning of Noah's flood is not the archaeological event of a flood, but the salient point that God tired of people rejecting Him and took his anger out on creation .. and promised his faithful not to do so again. The correlation with Christchurch 2011 called an act of God is a legal definition for insurers, not a religious statement for her people. Which isn't to say God wasn't present. I believe he was. And although my friends lost their crystal glass, and have much to rebuild, they kept everything they will value for eternity.
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Hatches
Happy birthday and man happy returns Irene Marija Podrebersek and Murielle Sassine. Born on the same day, across the years, along with
Matches
Despatches
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I hope Jane Hutcheon isn’t made to pay for not flying at my throat

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (12:24pm)

I am astonished and grateful that the ABC just let me speak yesterday without ringing a leper’s bell over my head, peppering me with attempted gotchas, running abusive Twitter graffiti over the screen or inserting repeated reminders to viewers of my manifest evil and unfitness for polite company - the kind of thing I got earlier in the week from ABC 774..
I now worry for Jane Hutcheon, host of One Plus One, who is coming under some criticism for letting me on her show. I suspect she will get even more for not trying to nail me to the floor and flay me, preferring instead to let me try to explain what I believe and why, for better or worse.
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The full interview can be seen here. I’d thank Jane personally for treating me like a normal guest, but I worry she’d then fret over whether she’d been too soft.
UPDATE
Thanks for all who wrote in today (even the couple with criticisms). Bowled over by your kindness. 
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Why did a Labor Government protect Craig Thomson? A question for the royal commission

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (12:15pm)

Jacqueline Maley is perfectly correct on an issue I believe the royal commission must investigate:

Labor had literally years to deal with the problem [of Craig Thomson]. Allegations had been swirling [about his corruption] for a long time even before Fairfax’s reporting. Fair Work Australia started its own investigation in 2010.
Any party official who had done due diligence would have detected the stench that surrounded Thomson, and yet he was preselected twice - once in 2007 and again in 2010.
The only conclusion voters, and Labor Party members (who ultimately ended up paying [nearly $350,000 in legal expenses] for Thomson’s expensive legal frolic) can reach is that Labor knew, but it didn’t care.
Reader Peter of Bellevue Hill:
AB, in light of the phone call industrial registrar Doug Williams says he received from Gillard’s chief of staff in 2009, it would be fair to say Labor knew and certainly did ‘care’ - just in a different sense to the way most fair-minded people would care.
And while Maley is correct in saying FWA didn’t start its investigation until 2010, it would be fairer to say it should have finished it in 2010, after Doug Williams’ work on the matter a year earlier.
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Steyn bites Mann

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (12:04pm)

Wonderful. Mark Steyn is countersuing Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann for suing him over some of the mockery Mann so richly deserves:
As a result of Plaintiff’s campaign to silence those who disagree with him on a highly controversial issue of great public importance, wrongful action and violation of the Anti-SLAPP Act, Steyn has been damaged and is entitled to damages, including but not limited to his costs and the attorneys’ fees he has incurred and will incur in the future in defending this action, all in an amount to be determined at trial, but in any event, not less than $5 million, plus punitive damages in the amount of $5 million.
Steyn’s new book - Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West - is available here.
(Thanks to reader ev425128.) 
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The Left’s all-in brawl for personal advantage … and a nice mirror

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (11:51am)

Socialist Julie Burchill has had enough of the new tribalism of the Left - the “intersectionality” of different interest groups struggling for advantage:
It’s easy for me to sentimentalise those days when the trade unions held sway, chiming as they did with the calf country of my communism, but whatever their beery and sandwichy limits, they were far better than what replaced them; the politics of diversity. While working-class left-wing political activism was always about fighting the powerful, treating people how you would wish to be treated and believing that we’re all basically the same, modern, non-working-class left-wing politics is about… other stuff. Class guilt, sexual kinks, personal prejudice and repressed lust for power…
[Mine] was an instinctive desire to defend the socialism of my dead father. Because intersectionality is actually the opposite of socialism! Intersectionality believes that there is ‘no such thing as society’ — just various special interests.
In my opinion, we only become truly brave, truly above self-interest, when fighting for people different from ourselves. My hero as a kid was Jack Ashley — a deaf MP who became the champion of rape victims. These days, the likes of those who went after Suzanne would probably dismiss him as a self-loathing cis-ableist. Intersectionality, like identity politics before it, is pure narcissism.
(Thanks to reader the Old and Unimproved Dave.) 
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Does the Abbott Government really want its own cabinet documents exploited by a Shorten Government?

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (11:42am)

Wrong way, go back:

The Abbott government will make cabinet documents from the former government available to the royal commission into the abandoned home insulation scheme in an unprecedented move that could provoke a legal challenge.
Attorney-General George Brandis outlined the plan to make cabinet documents available in a letter to his predecessor, Mark Dreyfus, who says it turns 113 years of established practice on its head..
Lawyers representing former prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and several former cabinet ministers who have been summoned to appear before the commission are believed to be considering legal action, which would see the courts decide if cabinet confidentiality should be waived in the public interest.
This royal commission already looks far too much like victors’ justice. Breaching a tradition of cabinet confidentiality will further that impression, and make the reality of it more likely in future.
It could also have a dangerously chilling effect on cabinet deliberations in future.  
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Labor lies to claim credit for stopping the boats

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (11:26am)

Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles says Labor deserves the credit for the boats stopping:
RICHARD MARLES: ... The policy difference which has had the effect is the PNG arrangement which Labor put in place and the best thing that this Government is doing is continuing on prosecuting the PNG arrangement.
Richard Marles last year said Labor wouldn’t turn back the boats as the Abbott Government promised:
Indonesia has been consistent all along in saying they didn’t want to see boats turned back, which was why we always felt that Tony Abbott going to the election this year with a policy of turning the boats back was simply pie in the sky. It was never going to happen as an ongoing policy because Indonesia didn’t want it… It is impossible for Australia to dictate terms to Indonesia on this. They are our neighbours.
Inescapable conclusion? That Labor would never have been able to stop the boats as the Abbott Government has:
NAVAL and Customs patrol vessels have turned or towed at least three asylum-seeker vessels back towards Indonesia in the past fortnight....
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday no asylum-seeker boats had made it to Australia for 64 days.... Mr Morrison said in the corresponding 64-day period in 2012-13, 1847 people arrived on 32 boats.
Labor needs to be called out on its farcical suggestion it would have succeeded as the Abbott Government now has.
(Thanks to reader Peter.) 
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Our health crisis is as simple as 3, 10, 15

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (11:23am)

Reader Andrew of Randwick on the only figures we need to know in this debate on our massive health spending:
The question is not about the $6 contribution.The question should be about the numbers: 3, 10 and 15.
- GDP and thus taxes are growing at 3%
- Overall health costs are growing at 10%
- Sub-set diagnostics costs are growing at 15% (because they are now there and legal warfare)
Those three numbers are the question. Unless we change, the whole government budget will be taken over by health spending. 
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A decade on, and McGuinness was right to warn of Mark Scott

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (11:14am)

Media Watch Dog pays tribute to the acuteness of the late P.P. McGuinness, who in 2006 wrote this warning that the appointment of Mark Scott as managing director of the ABC promised no change to the over-mighty state broadcaster’s Leftist bias:
Scott is ... a guarantee of one thing. While he is at the helm, the ABC will not change its editorial culture…
Scott will not be idle. He is an able exponent of management change and of organisational change. The already quite extensive activity of the ABC in the rapid technical development of broadcasting and of related areas will continue. No doubt he will, as a believer in organisational growth, support the imperialistic drive that has taken the ABC into areas far beyond its original brief and often beyond the limits of its legislative charter…
So the ABC remains in safe hands. There is no revolutionary, no ideologue, no hot-eyed burning reformer to disturb its ageing and placid dissemination of the small-l liberal platitudes of the past 30 years.
The feminists, the gay-rights advocates, the ecumenical searches for the meaning of life, the anti-Catholics, the advocates of Papuan independence, the supporters of Fidel Castro and similar Third World dictators and murderers, the America haters can rest secure. So can the Howard haters, long protected by McDonald at the ABC.
After all, Scott has protected for years that rabid, elderly hater of Howard, Alan Ramsey at the SMH, as he declines in perpetual hymns of Keatingesque hate (only the other day he called Howard a toad). He has allowed The Age to dispose of any semblance of balance, not even pretending to occasional balance on the opinion page (but, like the SMH, never in the news or letters pages).
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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If global warming were really serious there’d be no need for these lies

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (9:13am)

Professor Bjorn Lomborg agrees man is heating the planet - but he’s still astonished that so many UN and OECD officials tell untruths about global warming:
Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan takes the prize for the most extreme rhetoric, claiming not curbing global warming is “a terrible gamble with the future of the planet and with life itself"…
Both Annan and [Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the OECD last month] cited Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last November as evidence of increased climate-change-related damage.
Never mind that the latest report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found “current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century” and reported “low confidence” that any changes in hurricanes in recent (or future) decades had anything to do with global warming…
Similarly, Gurria tells us that Hurricane Sandy, which slammed into New York City in 2012, is an example of inaction on climate change, costing the US “the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of its GDP” each year.
In fact, the US currently is experiencing the longest absence of intense landfall hurricanes since records began in 1900, while the adjusted damage cost for the US during this period, including Hurricane Sandy, has fallen slightly.
[United Nations climate chief, Christiana] Figueres claims “that current annual losses worldwide due to extreme weather and disasters could be a staggering 12 per cent of annual global GDP”.
But the study she cites shows only a possible loss of 1 per cent to 12 per cent of gross domestic product in the future, and this is estimated not globally but within just eight carefully selected, climate-vulnerable regions or cities…

Figueres sees “momentum growing towards” climate policies as countries such as China “reduce coal use”. In the real world, China accounts for almost 60 per cent of the global increase in coal consumption from 2012 to 2014, according to the International Energy Agency…
Figueres’s weak grasp on the facts has led her not only to conclude China is “doing it right” on climate change, but also to speculate that China has succeeded because its “political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the US”. In other words, the UN’s top climate official seems to be suggesting an authoritarian political system is better for the planet. 
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ABC lacks the balance of Fox News

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (9:06am)

Gerard Henderson, who will be my first guest on the new NewsWatch segment of the Bolt Report from Sunday week, makes a comparison:
THE ABC declines to acknowledge the point. But a greater plurality of views can be heard on Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel in the US than on the taxpayer-funded broadcaster in Australia. The ABC does not have one conservative presenter or producer or editor for any of its prominent television or radio or online outlets…
The difference between the ABC and Fox News is perhaps most marked in their coverage of the media.
Since the ABC1 Media Watch program began in 1989, it has had a succession of leftist or left-of-centre presenters who use the public broadcaster as a pulpit from which they lay down the law on journalistic standards: namely, Stuart Littlemore, Richard Ackland, Paul Barry, David Marr, Liz Jackson, Monica Attard, Jonathan Holmes and Barry (again).
Littlemore ... boasted in his book The Media and Me (ABC, 1996) how, as a journalist on This Day Tonight (the predecessor of 7.30), he had used the public broadcaster to campaign against “conservative values” in general and the Coalition in particular. Marr, when presenter of Media Watch, declared that “the natural culture of journalism” is “soft leftie” and anyone who did not fit into this category should “find another job” ...
Fox News’s coverage of journalism involves a debate with experienced commentators expressing varying positions.
Last weekend MediaBuzz focused on the media’s coverage of Hillary Clinton. Presenter Howard Kurtz presided over a debate between the left-of-centre Michelle Cottle and the right-of-centre Amy Holmes, with panellist Lauren Ashburn taking a neutral position. Kurtz facilitated the discussion, while refraining from preaching.
Memo to self: invite ABC boss on as a guest for NewsWatch. 
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Can one in 18 Australians really be too sick to ever work?

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (8:50am)

Australia has just over 15 million people of working age. I find it impossible to believe that 832,000 of them - or one in every 18 - are too sick to ever do a stroke of work when this is a rich country with an excellent health system:
NEW surge in the number of disability pensioners to record levels will spark an Abbott government push for a radical welfare restructure that diverts people with mental illnesses from becoming permanent DSP recipients.
The latest figures show there were 832,024 DSP recipients in December, a rise of more than 10,000 since June last year and eclipsing the previous record of 831,908 in December 2011.
The number of DSP recipients with a mental illness has increased by about 90,000 over the past 10 years, to 256,380…
Confronted with widespread calls for the government to lift the general unemployment payment by $50 a week, Mr Andrews said he conceded there were vast differences between the payment rates of Newstart Allowance and the DSP but said the government was not in a position to raise the dole payment because of the fiscal position.
“It is a perverse incentive for people to get on the DSP because the payment is higher,” Mr Andrews said.
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Shorten’s problem: he’s insincere and can’t fake sincerity

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (7:46am)

Bill Shorten’s problem has long been that he can’t fake sincerity. That problem becomes crippling when his policies aren’t sincere, either.
Dennis Shanahan:

Labor’s response under Bill Shorten as Opposition Leader has been to oppose a royal commission into union corruption, adopt the ACTU’s feeble line of suggesting it’s just a “few bad apples”, accuse the Abbott government of wanting to “cut to the bone” and to blame the Coalition for the failure of Holden, Toyota and Alcoa, accusing the Prime Minister of not caring for workers or fighting for jobs.
It is also Labor’s strategy to continue to support the carbon tax and, with the Greens, prevent its repeal, along with the mining tax, in the Senate despite a resounding loss at the election last year…

Shorten’s political line on jobs is that “one job has been lost every three minutes under the Abbott government”, that Joe Hockey “goaded” Holden into leaving Australia and that there should have been federal government assistance for Holden and the SPC Ardmona cannery in Victoria.
This line is failing the “pub test”. It goes against common sense and voters demonstrably don’t believe it or support the intentions. 
It’s actually even worse. Shorten is defending the unpopular carbon tax his party before the election actually promised to scrap. He’s opposing $5 billion in spending cuts his party before the election actually promised to pass. He’s attacking the Government for a 6 per cent unemployment rate that Labor in government itself predicted. He’s denouncing union corruption while fighting a royal commission to root it out. He’s blaming the government for car makers closing when the first two big ones to fall fell under Labor.  He’s giving Labor policies the credit for the Government stopping the boats these past nine weeks when Labor never managed to achieve that feat itself in its last five years in government. He attacked the Government for not giving SPC Ardmona a $25 million subsidy when the company has since admitted it could survive without it.
Shorten record is shocking, exposing him as a mere opportunist. What makes that charge so deadly is that opportunistic and insincere is exactly the reputation he must shrug, having first knifed Kevin Rudd to install Julia Gillard, and then, after swearing loyalty to Gillard, knifing Gillard to install Rudd. 
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Will warmists keep quoting Rupert Murdoch, their guru?

Andrew Bolt February 22 2014 (12:10am)

Somehow I doubt warmists will keep quoting Rupert Murdoch at me, and will try to forget they ever did. But let’s remind them…
In 2006 the Sydney Morning Herald gleefully announced a convert to its cause:
Rupert Murdoch, powerfully converted to the climate change cause, says that business and government need to confront it and that the Kyoto Protocol should be rewritten…
The conversion of Mr Murdoch, whose media empire includes The Times, The Australian, The New York Post and Fox News, and who is a not infrequent guest of prime ministers and presidents, is a radical shift from his previous scepticism.
Even though he was still not entirely certain about it, “the planet deserves the benefit of the doubt”, he said. 
The Left ever since have demanded Murdoch journalists and other sceptics fall into line with the warmists’ new hero:

Entrepreneur Dick Smith, at the launch of his book on population policy, declared this week that Murdoch’s Australian newspapers were defying their boss’s global warming stand ("give the planet the benefit of the doubt") and needed bringing to heel. Murdoch, in short, had to tell us what to write.
“Rupert, I ask you to come back to Australia,” Smith cried.
“Come back and take the reins, your editors are losing the plot and need to be reminded that you accept we must transform the way we use energy and that we need to act now.”
ABC hosts cited Murdoch as their new authority to cow even politicians into silence:
The ABC’s Jon Faine this morning gave [sceptic] Senator Steve Fielding a taste of the treatment he must expect from the ABC’s global warming faithful.... He asked whether Fielding’s “religious approach” was interfering with his thinking.

He demanded to know why Fielding did not agree with Rupert Murdoch and give the planet “the benefit of the doubt”. (Mudoch, incidentally, is the one authority Faine cited.)
Even professional alarmist Tim Flannery cited Murdoch as his muse:


To quote Rupert Murdoch, ‘You’ve got to give the planet the benefit of the doubt’...
I’m afraid even John Howard was quoting Rupert Murdoch to justify his desperate conversion before his 2007 defeat:
We should, in the words of Rupert Murdoch, give the planet the benefit of the doubt, given the dangers of climate change.
In 2009 then Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull quoted him, too, to demand his party back Labor’s emissions trading scheme:
If we were to, if this legislation is knocked back Kevin Rudd will have no choice but to go to a double dissolution election… The party would be, look we would be wiped out....
You know, as Rupert Murdoch famously said, and Rupert Murdoch is a hard-headed, naturally sceptical person I think as we all know, he said you’ve got to give the planet the benefit of the doubt, and that is the only responsible course of action.
Senator Nick Xenophon was still quoting Murdoch as recently as last week:
My view is this: I do believe that climate change is real and that we need to – as Rupert Murdoch once famously said – give the planet the benefit of the doubt.
And ABC and Fairfax journalists looked forward to me dropping my own scepticsm and mockery of Earth Hour in deference to my boss:
Last November, while in Japan, [Murdoch] announced his change of heart [on global warming]. “… I believe it is now our responsibility to take the lead on this issue,” he said then…
So News Corp cutting back to zero emissions would be the equivalent, Murdoch said, of turning off London for five days. It was an interesting analogy, given some of his columnists in Australia had criticised Earth Hour ... The Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt, a climate change sceptic, seemed exasperated that anyone would think the announcement would change his mind.
As I said in 2006:

Now, critics who once scoffed that I merely wrote on Murdoch’s alleged orders are demanding to know why this time I have not.
The ABC’s Media Watch complains I’m “resisting”. ABC host Jon Faine protests that I’m an “idiot” for holding out. Age gossip writers insist I’m “nutty”.
So how many Leftists will today urge sceptics and Murdoch employees to heed the latest and best thoughts of the man they once quoted so freely?
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Murdoch’s comments apply specifically to the claimed links between global warming and the snow and rain we’re now seeing. But I suspect he has noted the failure of the planet to warm as predicted, and rightly concluded it’s the warmists we should doubt instead.   
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It is tragic. Mental illness/depression is no joke. She was beautiful. And strong. And she told her story before she left. But I would have preferred she grew old, and experienced the joy of life. - ed===


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Protesters in Bahrain
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Events[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Holidays and observances[edit]

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“The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” -Romans 13:9-10
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
February 21: Morning
"He hath said." - Hebrews 13:5
If we can only grasp these words by faith, we have an all-conquering weapon in our hand. What doubt will not be slain by this two-edged sword? What fear is there which shall not fall smitten with a deadly wound before this arrow from the bow of God's covenant? Will not the distresses of life and the pangs of death; will not the corruptions within, and the snares without; will not the trials from above, and the temptations from beneath, all seem but light afflictions, when we can hide ourselves beneath the bulwark of "He hath said"? Yes; whether for delight in our quietude, or for strength in our conflict, "He hath said" must be our daily resort. And this may teach us the extreme value of searching the Scriptures. There may be a promise in the Word which would exactly fit your case, but you may not know of it, and therefore you miss its comfort. You are like prisoners in a dungeon, and there may be one key in the bunch which would unlock the door, and you might be free; but if you will not look for it, you may remain a prisoner still, though liberty is so near at hand. There may be a potent medicine in the great pharmacopoeia of Scripture, and you may yet continue sick unless you will examine and search the Scriptures to discover what "He hath said." Should you not, besides reading the Bible, store your memories richly with the promises of God? You can recollect the sayings of great men; you treasure up the verses of renowned poets; ought you not to be profound in your knowledge of the words of God, so that you may be able to quote them readily when you would solve a difficulty, or overthrow a doubt? Since "He hath said" is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort, let it dwell in you richly, as "A well of water, springing up unto everlasting life." So shall you grow healthy, strong, and happy in the divine life.
Evening
"Understandest thou what thou readest?" - Acts 8:30
We should be abler teachers of others, and less liable to be carried about by every wind of doctrine, if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Ghost, the Author of the Scriptures is he who alone can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask his teaching, and his guidance into all truth. When the prophet Daniel would interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream, what did he do? He set himself to earnest prayer that God would open up the vision. The apostle John, in his vision at Patmos, saw a book sealed with seven seals which none was found worthy to open, or so much as to look upon. The book was afterwards opened by the Lion of the tribe of Judah, who had prevailed to open it; but it is written first--"I wept much." The tears of John, which were his liquid prayers, were, so far as he was concerned, the sacred keys by which the folded book was opened. Therefore, if, for your own and others' profiting, you desire to be "filled with the knowledge of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding," remember that prayer is your best means of study: like Daniel, you shall understand the dream, and the interpretation thereof, when you have sought unto God; and like John you shall see the seven seals of precious truth unloosed, after you have wept much. Stones are not broken, except by an earnest use of the hammer; and the stone-breaker must go down on his knees. Use the hammer of diligence, and let the knee of prayer be exercised, and there is not a stony doctrine in revelation which is useful for you to understand, which will not fly into shivers under the exercise of prayer and faith. You may force your way through anything with the leverage of prayer. Thoughts and reasonings are like the steel wedges which give a hold upon truth; but prayer is the lever, the prise which forces open the iron chest of sacred mystery, that we may get the treasure hidden within.
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Tryphena and Tryphosa
Scripture Reference: Romans 16:12
Name Meaning: Delicate or dainty one
As Paul links these two Christian ladies together, we shall think of them as one-which they were in many ways. Probably they were twin sisters in the flesh, as well as in Christ, or very near relatives, and belonged to the same noble Roman family. They must have been conspicuous in the service of the church at Rome-perhaps deaconnesses-otherwise Paul would not have singled them out for his expression of gratitude for their devoted labor in the Lord.
Their names, characteristically pagan, are in contrast to their significance. Having a similar resemblance in appearance and constitution, if twins, they were given names having a like meaning. Being of noble birth they "lived delicately," that is, in plenty and pleasure and luxury. Lightfoot says that, "It was usual to designate members of the same family by derivatives of the same root." "Delicate" may, of course, refer to physical weakness, and as tender and delicate women, Tryphena and Tryphosa stand out as early examples of incessant and arduous labors in the service of the church.
Whether of gentle and refined manners, or delicate in health, or both, these active workers carved a niche for themselves in Paul's portrait gallery of saints. Early Christian inscriptions in cemeteries used chiefly for the servants of the emperor contain both of these female names, and so can be identified as being among "the saints of Caesar's household" (Philippians 4:22). How we bless God for the record of those early "honourable women which were Greeks" (Acts 17:12) who became humble followers of the Lamb!
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Felix 
[Fē'lĭx] - happy, prosperous.
A cruel Roman governor of Judea, appointed by the Emperor Claudius, whose freedman he was (Acts 23:24-26Acts 24:2-27Acts 25:14). Felix is described by Tacitus as a bad and cruel governor, even though the title of "most excellent" was given to him.
The Man Who Procrastinated
As a true preacher, Paul pressed home the truth until it pricked the conscience of Felix so much so that he "trembled." He did not resent Paul's plain speaking but postponed the interview "till a more convenient season." Such a "convenient season," however, did not come, and Felix became a type of many whose consciences are stirred by the preached Word, but whose hopes of eternal security are ruined by a like procrastination. The two sworn enemies of the soul are "Yesterday" and "Tomorrow."
Yesterday slays its thousands. Past sins plunge many into darkness and despair. Priceless opportunities were trampled upon, and the harvest is past. But God says there is mercy still and free forgiveness through repentance.
Tomorrow slays its tens of thousands. Vows, promises, resolutions are never fulfilled. "Some other time," many say, when urged to repent and believe. They fail to realize that now is the acceptable time. How pitiful it is that the convenient season never dawns for them! The pathway to their hell is strewn with good resolutions, and as they cross "The Great Divide," the mocking voice cries out: "Too late! Too late!"
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Today's reading: Numbers 1-2, Mark 3:1-19 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Numbers 1-2

The Census
1 The LORD spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2"Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. 3 You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army...."

Today's New Testament reading: Mark 3:1-19

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."
4 Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent....



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