Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sun Apr 6th Todays News

Almost anything can be used as a reason for an action, almost anything can be used as a reason for a response. But not every reason is a good one. It is all very well to admire reason. It certainly beats the alternative. But not everything that is logical follows. On this day in 1327, a poet saw a beautiful woman. She was married. He was a Catholic Priest. But he loved her virtuously. He loved her virtue for twenty one years. Then she died (of natural causes, not pestered to death) and the poet loved her memory. Laura was probably the ancestor of the Marquis De Sade, but I doubt he was the result of this love. The poet Francesco Petrarca, is now known as the first humanist. He initiated the renaissance with his art and inquiry, and named the times of lost learning the Dark Ages. And so the spark of inquiry which brought forward Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Shakespeare, Moliere, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, Louis XIV and Anne Boleyn began with a priest falling in love with an unattainable, beautiful woman. 

But a day with such a spark has other enduring flames. The artist Rafael was born on this day in 1483, and died on this day in 1520. English King Richard I forgave the boy who shot him on this day (1199), shortly before dying from resultant blood poisoning. He gave his killer some coins and sent him on his way. Christian charity. What followed diminished the generous act of that king. Jealous courtiers tracked down the boy, and took the coins. And flayed him alive, until he died. And everyone had their reason. For mine, a terrible shot against reason happened on this day in 1994. An aircraft was shot down in Rwanda, killing a Rwandan President and a Burundian President. The black box recorder could have exonerated Tootsis from blame, but Kofi Annan misplaced it in his office for a decade, and the result was genocide, and promotion for Kofi to UN Secretary General. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to remedy my distress. I leave it up to him if he chooses to address the issue. Regardless of your opinion of conservative government, the issue is pressing. Please sign my petition at http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/nsw-premier-barry-o-farrell-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball?
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Johnny Duong and Saron Youn. Born on the same day, across the years. Remember, birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
Matches
Despatches
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Old tribal customs no excuse for crimes

Piers Akerman – Sunday, April 06, 2014 (6:11am)

WITH increasing regularity, Australian courts are accepting “cultural differences” as ­exculpatory or mitigating factors for more lenient sentencing or even to excuse the most abhorrent crimes.
Surely this is not the multi-culturalism that even the most avowed flag-waving, sandal-shod, inner-urban, Green-Labor voting wearers of tie-dyed rainbow garments believe in?
Though the Left has worked strenuously to denigrate the very notion that Australia has any culture whatsoever, ­attacking Anzac Day, sneering at the national enthusiasm for sport, attempting to airbrush all references from the education curriculum to our Anglo heritage which is the bedrock of our law and language and disparaging our debt to Judaeo-Christian values, it is patently obvious our culture and the economic opportunity it provides, is a beacon in an increasingly chaotic world. In the politically correct non-judgemental world of the kumbaya crowd, all cultures are equal and must be respected.
In 2013, Victorian Court of Appeal Justice Robert Redlich granted Esmatullah Sharifi, 31, who had pleaded guilty to the rape of an 18-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman in the same week in December, 2008, the right to appeal against the cumulative 14-year-jail term he is serving.
When he was sentenced, Judge Mark Dean said Sharifi had gone hunting for vulnerable, drunken women to rape.
Judge Dean pointedly noted that his flight from the Taliban was no excuse.
“The offence committed by you was an extremely serious act of violence, and in my opinion you well knew the victim was not consenting,” he said.
Sharifi found the teen near a Frankston nightclub and ­offered to drive her to meet friends at a Mornington hotel. But instead he drove her to a dark street and raped her. “Your brutal conduct must be denounced by this court,” Judge Dean said.
In granting leave, Judge Redlich found Sharifi’s lack of insight into his offence and the fact that he had no appreciation that his conduct was wrong adequate reasons to support his appeal.
Sharifi succeeded in his ­appeal with the Full Court knocking one year and six months off his total sentence.
Even more strange was the decision of Magistrate Ron Saines to drop an attempted child-stealing charge against Ali Jaffari, 35, in the Geelong Magistrates’ Court saying he would have reasonable doubt about his guilt, citing “cultural differences” as one mitigating factor.
The case related to the ­alleged attempt by Jaffari in January, 2013, to lead a four-year-old girl away from a sports oval while her father and brother played cricket.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Brooke Shears said that while the child’s father was throwing the ball to his son in the nets, the little girl was playing with her own bat at the net opening.
She said Jaffari was walking around the oval, when he ­approached the child, removed the bat from her hand and ­rested it against a bollard.
“He then grabbed the child’s hand and began to lead her away before she looked up, saw it wasn’t her father, started crying and pulled her hand away,” she said.
“The victim’s father turned, saw what was happening and yelled at Jaffari, ‘What do you think you’re doing?’ The victim ran crying to her father and he comforted her while Jaffari walked off around the oval.”
After being awarded a permanent protection visa in early 2012 by the Gillard government upon arriving by boat, Jaffari was convicted of ­indecent assault on two boys aged 12 and 13.
The prosecutor said that, when interviewed, Jaffari told police: “For us is not an issue.”
Magistrate Saines said the prosecution case fell short of criminality and cited cultural differences as a possible mitigating factor.
But Sgt Shears insisted that the offending had nothing to do with cultural differences. After being awarded a permanent protection visa in early 2012 by the Gillard government upon arriving by boat, Jaffari was convicted of ­indecent assault on two boys aged 12 and 13.
Witnesses said he started grabbing and rubbing himself against them, cuddling and kissing them on the neck and telling one of the boys he was “sexy”. One of the victims said he followed them to the showers, cornered them and asked if he “wanted company”.
He received a two-year community corrections order with 300 hours unpaid community work and was listed on a sex offenders’ register.
Curiously, sex crimes, usually against women and not boys, attract far harsher penalties under Afghan law than they do here, yet it is one cultural difference our judges and lawyers don’t seem to embrace.
Playing to the minorities is a losing game as nations across Europe find to their cost. 
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Truth in advertising

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (5:22pm)

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Reader Dave:

The polling place is the Narrogin District Hospital complex in Narrogin, WA.
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The Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (10:16am)

On the show today – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....
The end of the world is nigh?
Labor’s Andrew Leigh, Niki Savva and former Keating Minister Gary Johns.  And on NewsWatch Rowan Dean cuts loose on Q&A and Liz Hayes’ scaremongering.
The videos of the shows appear here.
UPDATE
A review of today’s show by a woman whose potty mouth we mentioned:
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Watch the repeat at 4pm to see if this simply confims a couple of points we made.
UPDATE
THE BOLT REPORT
6 APRIL 2014
INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW LEIGH, LABOR’S SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER

ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: Tony Abbott may have dodged a bullet in yesterday’s re-run Senate election in Western Australia. Both the Liberals and Labor did have swings against them, with support going instead to the big winners - the Greens and Clive Palmer’s party. The Nationals are just about finished. Result? Well, it’s early days in the counting but the signs are no change from the original result last year. The Liberals get three seats, Labor and the Greens one each, and the last going to Palmer. But that third Liberal seat may yet go to Labor. Joining me is Andrew Leigh, the Opposition’s assistant treasury spokesman. Andrew, thank you for your time.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER: Pleasure, Andrew.
ANDREW BOLT: There have been three elections since you’ve lost last year’s federal election - the by-election for Kevin Rudd’s seat, the Tasmanian state election and now this Senate vote. Labor went backwards each time. Why is that? And what must change?
ANDREW LEIGH: Well, Andrew, as I read the results in Western Australia at the moment, we’re seeing swings away from both the Liberal Party and the Labor Party. A slightly bigger swing away from the Liberal Party than from Labor. I’m still confident we’ll get both Joe Bullock and Louise Pratt up, because I think they would both make excellent senators. And, you know, we have a challenge in rebuilding the party, but I’m really optimistic under Bill Shorten we’ll be able to do that.
ANDREW BOLT: But the fact that the vote’s gone down each time, you don’t read a warning sign in that?
ANDREW LEIGH: This is a very unusual by-election, Andrew. This - we’ve never really had a re-run of a Senate election and turn-out was always going to be a challenge. I think we’ve seen, possibly, the Liberal Party not getting a third Senator. If that happened, that would be the first time that happened in a quarter of a century. But we’ll see as counting proceeds.
ANDREW BOLT: How much do you blame yesterday’s result on your lead Senate candidate, Joe Bullock, who voters learned last week had attacked his running mate, Louise Pratt, for being a lesbian of the left, and told a meeting that the working class can’t trust Labor?
ANDREW LEIGH: I think Joe is a passionate warrior for the Labor cause. He is somebody who has had the interests of working people close to his heart throughout his career. So, I think this was an issue fought mostly over Tony Abbott’s secret cuts rather than over particular personalities of certain candidates.
ANDREW BOLT: Well, this is the gentleman in you talking, of course, Andrew, but I tell you what, if Tony Abbott had said that about a lesbian candidate, Labor would have had his guts for garters as a homophobe. How come you’re so - is Labor going to do any of this to Bullock?
ANDREW LEIGH: Andrew, I’m not sure that there’s great value in raking over issues that have been covered a lot in the media over the course of this week. These are two strong Labor candidates who are united in their view that Tony Abbott shouldn’t be allowed to do the same slash and burn nationwide that Colin Barnett’s done in Western Australia. You know, that cutting back of investment in the productive potential of the nation really worries me.
ANDREW BOLT: Can we talk about the nation’s finances? Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson warned this week that a decade from now we’ll each earn on average $13,000 a year less than what was once expected. Now, we’re just not getting richer as fast as we used to. Now, you’re a former economics professor. How much trouble are we in?
ANDREW LEIGH: Andrew, I think it’s important to look at these things from an international perspective. Australia over the last half-decade has fared very, very well. Coming through with an economy that’s about a sixth larger than it was at the start of the global financial crisis, keeping unemployment below 6% right through the Labor period, and having net debt levels which were around a tenth of our GDP, well below the average for most developed countries. So on the fundamentals, we’re very strong. But, of course, we need to keep on reforming and I thought the point of Martin Parkinson’s speech was how important it is to keep on investing in productivity, making sure that we’re open, that we’re investing in skills and education and in infrastructure.
ANDREW BOLT: Well, one problem that Martin Parkinson did point out - we’re getting older as a country. And he warns that pensions will go up over the decade by nearly $40 billion a year. I mean, that’s clearly unaffordable. Do we need to raise the pension age again to, say, 70?

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today'
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Can we afford a $30 billion blowout in age pensions?

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (5:45am)

We have some very hard decisions ahead - and one is to end the entitlement culture:
AUSTRALIA’S age pension is a budget time bomb according to Tony Abbott’s secret Audit Commission report, with payments indexed to rise faster than inflation.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the cost of the $40 billion-a-year age pension threatens to increase by 80 per cent in the next decade to more than $70 billion.
Warning of tough choices in the May budget for Treasurer Joe Hockey, the report calls for a review of the indexation arrangements and asks Australians to work longer ­before claiming a pension…
Mr ­Hockey has backed moves to phase in an increase in the pension age over time to 70.
Senior government sources have confirmed that Australians over the age of 70 are also almost universally securing free or discount medicine ­because they qualify for ­taxpayer-funded concession card schemes.
A stunning 94 per cent of Australians over 70 qualify for either a pensioner concession card or a seniors health care card for self-funded retirees.
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Abbott dodges bullet, Labor shot, Greens and Palmer rise

Andrew Bolt April 06 2014 (3:43am)

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Numbers could change in this complicated count, but Labor would be very disappointed if these early indications are right:

Projected results from the West Australian Senate election re-run show the Liberal Party has comfortably retained two seats, and Labor, the Greens and the Palmer United Party (PUP) will each have one seat.
The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green said the Liberal Party also appeared on track to win the final seat.
“Our calculated prediction is pointing towards the Liberals winning the third seat,” he said.
The overall balance between the two parties, it looks like it’s going to be exactly the same as it was last September,” he said.
This was effectively another by-election, in which governments almost always go backwards. The Coalition did get a swing against it, but so did Labor, in part because of a low turnout which usually works against the traditional, big parties. The Greens won a big swing and so did the Palmer United Party.
If the final numbers really have the Liberals with three seats, Palmer won, Labor one and the Greens one, then Abbott has dodged a bullet and Labor must really take stock.
There have been three elections since the federal election and Labor just has not benefited from any of the anti-Abbott sentiment and anti-cuts fears it would have predicted and which it has built its whole campaign on.
In the by-election for Griffith, Kevin Rudd’s old seat, Labor actually went backwards. In the Tasmanian state election it got hammered and in this re-run WA Senate election it seems to have gone backwards again, albeit with a lot of protest votes going to the Greens instead.
Stand by for lots of recriminations against Joe Bullock, Labor’s lead candidate, for his leaked comments claiming Labor could not be trusted to help working people and attacking his running mate, Louise Pratt, as a lesbian and poster girl for the Left.
Meanwhile, Clive Palmer’s huge investment in ads has kept his balloon afloat and makes him the critical power broker in the Senate, where he controls four Senators (including the Motoring Enthusiasts’ Ricky Muir) of the eight who now sit on the crossbenches. Abbott needs the support of six to break any Greens/Labor block, which means he must deal with Palmer.  
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Lol, the easiest way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one.
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Over clever jokes. <3 them all
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=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she knows how I see her







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Every time I do a little light painting I feel the need to give a shout out to the one and only "pope" of all this night time tom foolery Troy Paiva, who trailblazed the way for all of us sleepless photographers who wander around in the dark looking for things to point our cameras at.

This particular image was light painted by my Android and a small amount of flashlight, while the rest of the light was provided by passing cars at the Bixby Bridge and a flashing road sign.
 — 
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So I tried to get from point A to point B, with full access to a map, and my path ended up looking a little something like this... I apologise to the women of the world - I'm not helping the stereotype. — at Torget i Gamla Stan.
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A species of freshwater turtle found on the Seychelles was thought to be extinct for more than 100 years, but a new genetic analysis of a specimen at the Natural History Museum in Vienna showed that the turtle was actually part of a larger population that's still alive thousands of miles away in West Africa. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/3mtn
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The Bushmaster has arrived for the Memorial Open Day. 
Find out more about the history of this Infantry Mobility Vehicle here www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL31116.001 — at Australian War Memorial.
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I don't feel that strongly about it .. ed
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It is like driving and seeing an idiot doing something stupid .. if you are judgemental, you might not notice why a rational person has acted desperately. - ed
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Photo: Warning - crazy environmentalists at work again (you could get angry when you read this).

An environmental group focused on the dangers of climate change is lobbying for Canadian municipalities to pass bylaws that would require warning labels on gas station pump nozzles.

Lawyer Robert Shirkey says the warning labels on the nozzles would be similar to those found on cigarette packages and would act to warn users of the negative effects of fossil fuels.

"The future of the planet is literally in the palm of your hand (when you pick up the nozzle)," Shirkey, founder of Our Horizon, told an audience Thursday at the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/warning-labels-on-gas-pump-nozzles-1.1225212#ixzz2PdKVlu00
You won't save the world by putting water in your petrol tank - ed
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Researchers studying the imperiled marshes of Cape Cod were surprised to discover a section of marsh was coming back, and the cause was an invasive green crab. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/3nfk
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Sarah Palin: Americans ‘need to get outraged’ over green energy losers like Fisker ==>http://twitchy.com/2013/04/05/sarah-palin-americans-need-to-get-outraged-over-green-energy-losers-like-fisker/
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The Doctor takes Clara to the Festival of Offerings, but the Old God is waking and demands sacrifice...

Don't miss 'The Rings of Akhaten' tomorrow onABC TV Australia!

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My husband and i were dressed and ready to go out for a lovely evening of dinner and theatre. Having been burgled in the past, we turned on a 'night light' and the answering machine, then put the cat in the backyard. When our cab arrived, we walked out our front door and our rather tubby cat scooted between our legs inside, then ran up the stairs. Because our cat likes to chase our budgie we really didn't want to leave them unchaperoned so my husband ran inside to retrieve her and put her in the back yard again.

Because i didn't want the taxi driver to know our house was going to be empty all evening, i explained to him that my husband would be out momentarily as he was just bidding goodnight to my mother. A few minutes later he got into the cab all hot and bothered, and said (to my growing horror and amusement) as the cab pulled away.

"Sorry it took so long but the stupid bitch was hiding under the bed and i had to poke her arse with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off so i grabbed her by the neck and wrapped her in a blanket so she wouldn't scratch me like she did last time. But it worked! I hauled her fat arse down the stairs and threw her into the backyard....she had better not shit in the vegetable garden again."

The silence in the taxi was deafening.....

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Pink EEE!
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He is 101, she is 103, and they've been married for 88 years!
These days, he'd have a criminal record .. - ed
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Miguel De La Cruz and I went hunting for Sunset Light tonight and found none… but I didn't mind at all.

Many thanks go out to our good friend Paul Porterwho directed us to this spot by phone.
 — atNicasio Reservoir.
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Cover of the official report of the 1896 Olympics
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Holidays and observances[edit]

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“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” - 2 Corinthians 5:14-15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"On him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."
Luke 23:26
We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.
But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon's, it is not our cross, but Christ's cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ's cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!
You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of his blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. 'Tis his cross, and he goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow him.
Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.
And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

Evening

"Before honour is humility."
Proverbs 15:33
Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self, God will fill them with his love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, "He descended that he might ascend?" So must you. You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven," with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it. God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety. When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case. Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess.
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Eliezer 
[Ĕli ēzûr] - god is my help.
1. The second son of Moses and Zipporah to whom his father gave this name as a memento of his gratitude to God (Exod. 18:4; 1 Chron. 23:15, 17; 26:25).
2. A son of Becher and grandson of Benjamin (1 Chron. 7:8).
3. A priest who assisted in the return of the Ark to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15:24).
4. A Reubenite ruler in David's time (1 Chron. 27:16).
5. The prophet who rebuked Jehoshaphat for his alliance with king Ahaziah in the Ophir expedition (2 Chron. 20:37).
6. A chieftain sent with others to induce many of the Israelites to return with Ezra to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:16).
7. A priest who put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:18).
8. A Levite who had done the same (Ezra 10:23).
9. One of the sons of Harim who had done likewise (Ezra 10:31).
10. An ancestor of Joseph, husband of Mary (Luke 3:29).
11. Abraham's chief servant, and "son of his house," that is, one of his large household. He is named "Eliezer of Damascus" probably to distinguish him from others of the same name (Gen. 15:2; 24).
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 1-3, Luke 8:26-56 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 1-3

The Birth of Samuel
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. 4Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.6Because the LORD had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 8:26-56

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss....
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

GREATER LOVE

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:9-13).
Jesus said, “they hated me without reason.” He was neither the first nor the last person to be the recipient of senseless rejection and persecution, but because he was the one perfect, sinless one, the hatred played out against him was the vilest the world would ever see. His haters called light darkness, they saw righteousness and called it wickedness. They even called the work of God the deeds of the devil.
We’ve heard of stories of brave sacrifices–a soldier throwing his body on a hand grenade, a firefighter charging into an inferno only to lose his own life. These are stirring, and they show humanity at its best. But Jesus’ sacrifice was not the impulse of a desperate moment. He moved with resolve toward his own end. There is no greater love. We can look through every page of history and every corner of the universe and we won’t find anything that comes even close. Jesus looked at his friends, told them he would be laying down his life, and then required one simple thing: love each other.
Ponder This: What do you have to say to Jesus who laid his life down for you?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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Today's Lent reading: Luke 15-16 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent....


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