Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thu Apr 10th Todays News

It was a throw away line from me during class but it really offended a few students who insisted on getting their opinion out there. One trenchant Islamic apologist had made comments like "The US is collapsing like Rome did," "Australia is terrible with her treatment of refugees," and "America is chasing oil money engaging in war in Iraq." It was 2002, and President Bush had remarked how it was strange that when the world had clear examples of the triumph of Capitalism over Communism, yet still socialist advocates denied reality and embraced fascism. So I pointed to the example of Vietnam and said she was a great people with a despicable government and that the government would not last forever, but their people would prosper. Not a Mathematics related topic, but my kids did well enough in that, so that it would not be productive of me to push that harder, but hearing balanced debate on current issues wouldn't harm. One Chinese ethnic girl said "What about China? Those people are great too." I replied "Yes, but Chinese bureaucracy is a different thing altogether. A great people, but as Tiananmen Square has illustrated progress would be slower than Vietnam."

The US certainly resembles the last days of Rome under Obama, but that is temporary. Soon, he will be a lame duck President. Then there will be rebuilding. Australia was generous with refugees under Howard, and the Pacific Solution is clearly fairer than the ALP alternative. The US clearly did not pursue Iraq for oil, but those that hate America will continue to make the claim. They have claimed the US should not have toppled Hussein. When it comes to that debate I know the side of reason. But a tragedy happened on this day in 2010 which illustrates the greatness and resilience of a people long subjugated by communism. Margaret Thatcher died yesterday last year, but the tragedy of the death of Lech Aleksander Kaczyński and company will be long felt. He was President of Poland, and many serving people from the administration died alongside him in the crash at Smolensk in Russia. Kaczyński was a conservative and he had left a vision of a free and fair Poland that has not been forgotten. They have worked hard to address the endemic corruption which was part of the Soviet era. They make stupid mistakes at times, like the one where they opposed male circumcision, but it is a dumb mistake that is their own, not imposed by a foreign dictator bent on socialism. Conservatives don't agree on everything everywhere, that is something the left try to do. But Conservatives tend to those vital areas which foster freedom and bolster cultural assets. The king dies, but the kingdom goes on. And a great people will not be denied. It is my hope that the great people of Poland will not forget their Jewish peoples. They cannot raise the dead, but they must allow all their people to prosper, not merely a few. 

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 Sean K Fitzgerald,Jimmy Le and Defqon Tran. Born on the same day across the years. The same day as when in 1815 a volcano (Mt Tambora) erupted and drove the temperature down an estimated two degrees centigrade for two years .. just like global warming has done for ten years.
Matches
Despatches
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Unemployment down

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (1:06pm)

I don’t trust the headline figure, but it’s better than not trusting a figure that seems too high:
The total number of jobs in Australia rose by 18,100 to a seasonally adjusted 11.553 million in the month,,,, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
The unemployment rate fell to 5.8 per cent in the month, compared with 6 per cent in February.
But:
The participation rate edged down to 64.7 per cent in the month, compared with an upwardly revised figure of 64.9 per cent in February.
Unemployment is now well under what Labor last year predicted:
Mr Bowen’s economic statement cut growth forecasts from 2.75 per cent in the budget to 2.5 per cent and predicted unemployment would rise half a percentage point from 5.75 per cent predicted in the budget to 6.25 per cent - about 64,000 people.
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Another fine mess Rudd tried to get us into

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (9:34am)

And this man was once our prime minister, thanks to Labor:
Mr Carr also details a conversation where Julia Gillard tells him of Mr Rudd’s hitherto secret Israel-Palestine peace plan drafted in the wake of the Arab Spring uprising.
“As foreign minister, Kevin had kept going to Israel, driving [Israel’s leader Benyamin] Netanyahu mad promoting a batty peace plan and promising to commit Australian troops to patrolling borders.
“I quickly agree this was nuts.”
How on earth could Rudd have thought it in our interests to insert troops between Israel and its enemies for the sake of some “peace plan”? 
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Ageing us out of house and home

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (9:19am)

THE Abbott Government faces a Budget crisis: we’re running out of the money most Australians need for their retirement.
We’re talking big money — an average cash handout of at least $400,000 for each person on a full age pension. And that doesn’t even include their hospital and aged care, or the seniors health card that lets them buy cheap medicines and get discounts even for rail travel.

There is no way taxpaying workers can afford all that when by 2050 they’ll be responsible for nearly twice as many people over 65 than today.
(Read full article here.) 
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Blame Labor’s policies, stupid. Not the unions

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (9:16am)

Politics - federal

LABOR’S leaders still can’t admit it’s their own stupidity — not their union mates — that’s killing them.
Instead, there they go again, pretending voters actually care who decides Labor policies, rather than how lunatic their policies actually are.
I can understand their scrabbling for a scapegoat, of course. Labor was buried in last year’s federal election after six years of disastrous government and now is travelling even worse under Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
It somehow went backwards in the by-election for former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s seat and was destroyed in Tasmania’s state election. It lost seats in South Australia’s election and last weekend was reduced to a humiliating 22 per cent of the vote in the rerun Senate election in Western Australia.

But hear Labor talk about everything but the Labor policies voters rejected. Shorten says Labor should just make the party more diverse by no longer demanding party members be union members.
On Wednesday, Labor president Jenny McAllister agreed union bosses should bow out and let “far more people to have a say in who represents Labor in the Senate”.
Are they serious? How many Australians turned off Labor because of its membership policies rather than because Labor let in 50,000 boat people, hit us with a carbon tax, preached hate politics, bungled a home insulation program with deadly results and left us with deficits of $123 billion?
It’s the policies, stupid.
Correction.
(Read full article here.
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Bob Carr’s voice coach

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (9:10am)

Bob Carr on his late friend Gore Vidal:
Gore Vidal’s significance is that he was a lonely voice...
Yet as a listener on our 2GB show last night pointed out, Vidal’s voice was not that lonely for long. How much of Carr’s oratorical style borrows from the theatrical Vidal?



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Don’t blame Bullock

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (8:58am)

I don’t think this is all Niki Savva means:
It is too easy to blame Labor’s senator-elect Joe Bullock, although he was a factor. And before the party falls into the trap of granting Louise Pratt heroine or martyr status, it should seriously consider how much she would have added to the Labor vote if she had been No 1 on the ticket and exposed to the same kind of scrutiny as Bullock.
Pratt came off that other Labor-candidate assembly line, the one that keeps producing the same models for decades. Pratt was heavily involved in student politics, worked for politicians, ran for parliament when she was 24 and was elected to state parliament at 26 before she went federal. Labor looks like it treats parliament as either a retirement village for ageing unionists or as a political baby incubator.
Savva is right. Bullock is just a fall guy.  He actually represents a Labor party that many older Labor voters would remember with some affection. 
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Carr is a warning to Jews: the Left is the natural home of the bigot

Andrew Bolt April 10 2014 (8:08am)

Many of Australia’s most prominent Jews face a terrible reality that I’ve warned about for almost a decade: the natural home of the anti-Jewish bigot is now the Left. Too many prominent Jewish intellectuals here have pampered their enemy.
ABC chairman Jim Spigelman concedes the point:
Spigelman: My father was a bit of a lefty from his Polish days because Jews in Poland tended to be on the left ‘cause all the anti-Semites were then on the right. That’s exactly the reverse today.
Throsby: Is it?
And, right on time, former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr takes the stage.
Carr is not an anti-Semite, but his views on the Jewish lobby are absurd and dangerously close to an anti-Semitic trope:
BOB CARR: ... And what I’ve done is to spell out how the extremely conservative instincts of the pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne was exercised through the then-Prime Minister’s office.... I found it very frustrating that we couldn’t issue, for example, a routine expression of concern about the spread of Israeli settlements on the West Bank....
SARAH FERGUSON: You’re saying that the Melbourne Jewish lobby had a direct impact on foreign policy as it was operated from inside Julia Gillard’s cabinet?
BOB CARR: Yeah, I would call it the Israeli lobby - I think that’s important. But certainly they enjoyed extraordinary influence. I had to resist it and my book tells the story of that resistance coming to a climax when there was a dispute on the floor of caucus about my recommendation that we don’t block the Palestinian bid for increased non-state status at the United Nations.
SARAH FERGUSON: They’re still a very small group of people. How do you account for them wielding so much power?
BOB CARR: I think party donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel. But that’s not to condemn them. I mean, other interest groups do the same thing. But it needs to be highlighted because I think it reached a very unhealthy level. I think the great mistake of the pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne is to express an extreme right-wing Israeli view rather than a more tolerant liberal Israeli view, and in addition to that, to seek to win on everything, to block the Foreign Minister of Australia through their influence with the Prime Minister’s office, from even making the most routine criticism of Israeli settlement policy using the kind of language that a Conservative Foreign secretary from the UK would use in a comparable statement at the same time.
Carr is not wrong to say there is a Jewish lobby, or Israel lobby, just as there are other ethnic and religious lobby groups, including Aboriginal ones. The Jewish lobby is more organised that most, and on certain issues speaks with more unity than most, too.
This can come with a risk, as we now see in the debate over the Abbott Government’s plans to reform the Racial Discrimination Act to allow more free speech.  Jewish community leaders have been the strongest opponents of this change, and base much of their argument on an issue of particular concern to Jews: that such a change would permit Holocaust denial. I suspect most non-Jews also loathe Holocaust deniers but would not be so quick to say they should be gagged by law - and that the rest of us should be gagged from arguing other propositions as a consequence. The danger here is that Jewish leaders are seen to be arguing for an illiberal ban to the benefit of their own community, but at the cost of the wider one. Such tribalism comes at a risk in a multi-ethnic, multi-faith nation.
I think it is fair to make these points. But Bob Carr’s comments go further - dangerously further.
He is singling out the “Israel lobby” as having had a more “unhealthy” influence than other such groups in that it had “influence with the Prime Minister’s office” under Labor, seeking “to block the Foreign Minister of Australia” from aiding Palestinian interests. This influence, claims Carr, is exercised through “party donations and a program of giving trips to MPs and journalists to Israel”, trips which indeed both Gillard and I have received.
Here is where Carr oversteps.
Carr completely ignores the reality that many supporters of Israel in the case he raises have not been bought, bribed or otherwise influenced by “unhealthy” lobbying, but have reached their opinion by judging on the merits of the argument. They see a democracy threatened by terrorism, an open society challenged by a closed one, and they decide accordingly. Yet this difference of opinion is portrayed by Carr as just the evil product of “unhealthy” Jewish influence peddling.
It is a joke to believe Gillard as prime minister could be further influenced by the offer of trips from Melbourne Jews. Politicians and journalists are also offered trips to the Muslim Middle East, yet Carr does not declare those “unhealthy”.
And how much influence did those Melbourne Jews have really? Carr boasts that he actually defeated Gillard on the issue by leading a caucus revolt against Gillard’s position.
That raises Carr’s dangerous double standards - to decry a “unhealthy” a Jewish influence he defeated while saying nothing about the more troubling Muslim influence to which he surrendered - and Labor with him.
Labor politicians have done dangerous favors for Islamist extremists like Sheik Hilali, revoking moves to throw him out in exchange for votes, but Carr has not criticised that as “unhealthy”.  Labor made a politician of a Muslim ethnic boss and supporter of the Syrian dictator in exchange for votes, but Carr did not say this was “unhealthy”.  Nor did Carr say it was “unhealthy” when even Liberal Prime Minister John Howard appointed a Muslim Community Reference Group to advise him - one third of whose members were supporters of the pro-terrorist Hezbollah.
Carr did not denounce this “unhealthy” influence, either:
Australia’s senior Islamic cleric threatened to withdraw community support for federal Labor in Western Sydney if union leader Paul Howes replaced Bob Carr in the Senate, a leaked email reveals.
The email, written on behalf of the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, by his chief political adviser, accused Mr Howes of a “blind bias for Israel” and said that if he was appointed to the Senate, community support for Labor that was mustered for the federal election would be withdrawn.
The email was sent to MPs and ­officials on September 9… Mr Howes, the national secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, withdrew from the contest ...
Note that the Mufti has shown support for Hamas.
But let’s talk about the truly unhealthy influence in the very case Carr discusses - a bid by Palestinians for greater recognition.
Labor ditched Israel in that instance not so much out of principle but out of Labor self-interest. As former Labor speech-writer Troy Bramston wrote at the time after talking to the players, Labor feared the influence of the Muslim lobby and the votes it could muster in key Sydney marginal seats:
And, critically, there is the growing Muslim and Christian make-up of several key western Sydney Labor seats, which have exposed MPs to different points of view on the Middle East.
Some sections of the party suggest Victorian Labor is too close to the Israel lobby and does not fully understand the underlying changes in Sydney’s outer suburbs.
Did Carr denounce that “unhealthy” influence?  No. He in fact was among the first to give in to it:
BUT of all reasons given, the worst and most repeated was as the Daily Telegraph said: “NSW Right MPs ... were more concerned a no vote at the UN would offend Middle East and Muslim communities in their fragile southwest Sydney seats.” The Sydney Morning Herald heard the same: “Many MPs in western Sydney, who are already fearful of losing their seats, are coming under pressure from constituents with a Middle East background."…

Carr reportedly stressed “the electoral problems in Sydney” to Gillard, and The Australian reported the “demographically challenged” Water Minister, Tony Burke, insisted on not rejecting the Palestinian resolution.
Burke’s “demographic challenge” is that the proportion of Muslim voters in Watson, his Sydney seat, has rocketed to an astonishing 20 per cent… In fact, of the 20 seats with the most Muslim voters, Labor holds all but one.
That’s why Carr’s attack on the Jewish lobby is so sinister. He exaggerates its power, falsely assumes those who agree with the lobby have been bought, and meanwhile is silent on the rise of more troubling lobby that has influenced Labor - the Muslim lobby, which includes supporters of extremists.
Something sick is at work in the Left. It’s not just Jews who should be alarmed.
UPDATE
What a disgraceful breach of confidence and a shameless betrayal:
Bob Carr has published private text messages between himself and Julia Gillard to reveal the “extraordinary” level of influence the pro-Israel lobby had on the former prime minister’s office.
In a remarkable disclosure of private conversations, Mr Carr said he chose to publish the text messages in his book – Diary of a Foreign Minister – without getting Ms Gillard’s permission, because to do so was in the national interest.
Carr wasn’t the foreign minister of Australia, seeking to advance the nation’s interests. It seems to me he was merely an embedded journalist, seeking material to advance his own.
The exchange:
Reproducing private text messages, Mr Carr suggests Ms Gillard’s support of Israel was so immovable that she would not even allow him to change Australia’s vote on what he considered to be a minor UN motion.
“Julia – motion on Lebanon oil spill raises no Palestinian or Israel security issues. In that context I gave my commitment to Lebanon,” Mr Carr writes in a text message.
“No reason has been given to me to change,” Ms Gillard reportedly replies.
“Julia – not so simple,” Mr Carr responds. “I as Foreign Minister gave my word. I was entitled to because it had nothing to do with Palestinian status or security of Israel.”
Ms Gillard shuts him down in a final terse message: “Bob… my jurisdiction on UN resolutions isn’t confined to ones on Palestine and Israel.”
UPDATE
Mark Liebler responds, during an aggressive interview with Tony Jones:
Just unpick for a moment what he’s saying. He’s talking about the Jewish lobby, he’s talking about a difference of opinion between him and the Prime Minister. Why can’t they have a difference of opinion on a matter related to Israeli policy? No, if there’s a difference of opinion, the Prime Minister has to be controlled or influenced by someone. So the Prime Minister has to be wrong ‘cause she’s controlled by the Jewish lobby. How does the Jewish lobby control the Prime Minister? Through donations to the ALP and sending people to Israel. I mean, give me a break. I mean, would anyone sort of seriously accept that? I mean, I’m very flattered.
By the way, the Jewish lobby he’s referring to is the Australia-Israel and Jewish Affairs Council. He’s referred to it in The Australian newspaper, so he’s referring to me directly. But, you know, as flattered as I am, this is really a figment of his imagination. I mean, Julia Gillard is an independent-thinking woman. She can come to her own conclusions without being influenced by the Jewish lobby and I suppose the Jewish lobby, according to Bob, ... has the current Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, under its influence. After all, he’s adopted a very pro-Israel attitude.
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darleneboza:

ojos.

I C
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Apple is a leader
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General Emiliano Zapata
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“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” - Hebrews 1:3
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him."
Luke 23:27
Amid the rabble rout which hounded the Redeemer to his doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations--fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour bearing his cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief--cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those bleeding brows: my sins cried "Crucify him! crucify him!" and laid the cross upon his gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity: but my having been his murderer, is more, infinitely more, grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.
Why those women loved and wept it were not hard to guess: but they could not have had greater reasons for love and grief than my heart has. Nain's widow saw her son restored--but I myself have been raised to newness of life. Peter's wife's mother was cured of the fever--but I of the greater plague of sin. Out of Magdalene seven devils were cast--but a whole legion out of me. Mary and Martha were favoured with visits--but he dwells with me. His mother bare his body--but he is formed in me the hope of glory. In nothing behind the holy women in debt, let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow.
"Love and grief my heart dividing,
With my tears his feet I'll lave--
Constant still in heart abiding,
Weep for him who died to save."

Evening

"thy gentleness hath made me great."
Psalm 18:35
The words are capable of being translated, "thy goodness hath made me great." David gratefully ascribed all his greatness not to his own goodness, but the goodness of God. "Thy providence," is another reading; and providence is nothing more than goodness in action. Goodness is the bud of which providence is the flower, or goodness is the seed of which providence is the harvest. Some render it, "thy help," which is but another word for providence; providence being the firm ally of the saints, aiding them in the service of their Lord. Or again, "thy humility hath made me great." "Thy condescension" may, perhaps, serve as a comprehensive reading, combining the ideas mentioned, including that of humility. It is God's making himself little which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little, that if God should manifest his greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under his feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do, turns his eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great. There are yet other readings, as for instance, the Septuagint, which reads, "thy discipline"--thy fatherly correction--"hath made me great;" while the Chaldee paraphrase reads, "thy word hath increased me." Still the idea is the same. David ascribes all his own greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven. May this sentiment be echoed in our hearts this evening while we cast our crowns at Jesus' feet, and cry, "thy gentleness hath made me great." How marvellous has been our experience of God's gentleness! How gentle have been his corrections! How gentle his forbearance! How gentle his teachings! How gentle his drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened ere thou fallest asleep tonight.
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Today's reading: 1 Samuel 13-14, Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Samuel 13-14

Samuel Rebukes Saul
1 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-two years.
2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, "Let the Hebrews hear!" 4 So all Israel heard the news: "Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines." And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 10:1-24

Jesus Sends Out the Seventy-Two
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.2 He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5 "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' 6If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house....
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Knowing Him - An Easter Devotional

BETTER THAN SILVER OR GOLD

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.... Even angels long to look into these things. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:10-23)
Years after Jesus’ death and resurrection Peter wrote about the mystery of Christ, things that “angels long to look into.” These highest and best truths about God include the mighty act of redemption. Jesus had said he came to gave his life as a ransom (Mk. 10:45), and here Peter says that we were redeemed not by silver or gold (the richest of the world’s riches) but by “the precious blood of Christ” (the richest of God’s treasures, the life of the very Son of God).
Redemption or ransom is at the heart of the Old Testament pictures of salvation. It means to liberate someone by buying them back. God asked the Hebrews to make a sacrifice of every firstborn. For sheep, goats and the like this meant death, but God told the Hebrews to substitute a lamb for their firstborn children. This liberation was ransom. A lamb instead of a son. But in the case of Jesus it was the Son instead of us.
Remember three “s”s when you think of salvation through Jesus: sacrifice (his death), substitution (him instead of us), satisfaction (the fulfillment of the justice of God). A mystery to us? Yes! One that even angels would love to peer into, if they could.
Ponder This: What is something that you know about Christ today that angels would sing about?
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 23-24 (NIV)

View today's Lent reading on Bible Gateway
1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2And they began to accuse him, saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king."
3 So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?"
"You have said so," Jesus replied.
4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."
5 But they insisted, "He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here."
6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time....

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