Friday, May 02, 2014

Fri May 2nd Todays News

The ICAC are looking increasingly desperate to be closed down before they fully investigate ALP activity. The recent allegation against former NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher, of which he has not yet been given a right of reply, is perfectly explicable if he were competently going about his business. The problem is the ALP fostered corruption throughout the NSW public service over 16 years it was in government and so it is going to be a tough road to rooting it out. It is the job of a politician to network with people of substance. It is painful for LNP supporters right now, but it will mean the accused may be exonerated well before the election, and the ALP will have to address their corruption issues .. and they have not begun, with Obeid appointee Robertson still being opposition leader. 

On this day, 1536, Anne Boleyn, Queen of England, was arrested and imprisoned on charges of adultery, incest, treason and witchcraft. There is no evidence of her prowess as a witch, but I believe she was innocent of that charge and I would employ a champion, Stephen Fry, in a fight to the death using wits any who claim they can prove she was a witch. A nemesis of Anne's daughter, Mary Queen of Scots escaped from Elizabeth 1st's detention on this day in 1568. Mary's son had his bible printed on this day in 1611. Just when you think you know how God works .. remember, Fry is my champion. 

For twenty two years I have been responsibly addressing an issue, and I cannot carry on. I am petitioning the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott 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 https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/tony-abbott-remedy-the-persecution-of-dd-ball
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Hatches
Happy birthday and many happy returns Sokleang Taing and Lucy La. Born when it was Teacher's day in Iran and Flag day in Poland .. and when Robert Barker printed in 1611 the first authorized King James version of the Bible. Your day is inspirational.
Matches
Despatches
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An 86-step strategy for fiscal rescue

Piers Akerman – Thursday, May 01, 2014 (7:59pm)

TONY Shepherd and his Commission of Audit report stand in stark contrast to Tony Abbott’s blizzard in their view of what the coming Budget must deliver.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'An 86-step strategy for fiscal rescue'
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NO HALF MEASURES

Tim Blair – Friday, May 02, 2014 (12:14pm)

Luvvie rage
The Australian film industry has reacted with fury to the suggestion that Screen Australia, the organisation responsible for a significant number of Australian films and television dramas, should lose half its funding. 
I share their fury. Screen Australia should lose all its funding. 
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Hockey’s next target:  expensive and ugly wind turbines

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (10:17am)

One more sign of a change in the climate:
TREASURER Joe Hockey has flagged a crackdown on corporate welfare, including for renewable energy projects, describing wind turbines as “a blight on the landscape"…

Asked specifically about grants to renewable energy ventures, the North Sydney MP said: “If I can be a little indulgent, I drive to Canberra to go to parliament and I must say I find those wind turbines around Lake George to be utterly offensive. I think they’re a blight on the landscape.”
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Lawson: global warming is no longer about the science

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (9:41am)

Global warming - general

Nigel Lawson, the former British Chancellor, says the warmists may try to scream him down but the facts speak even louder:
I must admit I am strongly tempted to agree that, since I am not a climate scientist, I should from now on remain silent on the subject — on the clear understanding, of course, that everyone else plays by the same rules. No more statements by Ed Davey, or indeed any other politician, including Ed Milliband, Lord Deben and Al Gore. Nothing more from the Prince of Wales, or from Lord Stern. What bliss!
But of course this is not going to happen. Nor should it; for at bottom this is not a scientific issue. That is to say, the issue is not climate change but climate change alarmism, and the hugely damaging policies that are advocated, and in some cases put in place, in its name…
According to the temperature records kept by the UK Met Office (and other series are much the same), over the past 150 years (that is, from the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution), mean global temperature has increased by a little under a degree centigrade — according to the Met Office, 0.8ºC. This has happened in fits and starts, which are not fully understood. To begin with, to the extent that anyone noticed it, it was seen as a welcome and natural recovery from the rigours of the Little Ice Age. But the great bulk of it — 0.5ºC out of the 0.8ºC — occurred during the last quarter of the 20th century. It was then that global warming alarmism was born.
But since then, and wholly contrary to the expectations of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists, who confidently predicted that global warming would not merely continue but would accelerate, given the unprecedented growth of global carbon emissions, as China’s coal-based economy has grown by leaps and bounds, there has been no further warming at all. To be precise, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a deeply flawed body whose non-scientist chairman is a committed climate alarmist, reckons that global warming has latterly been occurring at the rate of — wait for it — 0.05ºC per decade, plus or minus 0.1ºC. Their figures, not mine. In other words, the observed rate of warming is less than the margin of error....
The lessons of the unpredicted 15-year global temperature standstill (or hiatus as the IPCC calls it) are clear. In the first place, the so-called Integrated Assessment Models which the climate science community uses to predict the global temperature increase which is likely to occur over the next 100 years are almost certainly mistaken, in that climate sensitivity is almost certainly significantly less than they once thought, and thus the models exaggerate the likely temperature rise over the next hundred years.....
The fact remains that the most careful empirical studies show that, so far at least, there has been no perceptible increase, globally, in either the number or the severity of extreme weather events....
So how is it that much of the Western world, and this country in particular, has succumbed to the self-harming collective madness that is climate change orthodoxy? It is difficult to escape the conclusion that climate change orthodoxy has in effect become a substitute religion, attended by all the intolerant zealotry that has so often marred religion in the past, and in some places still does so today.
Throughout the Western world, the two creeds that used to vie for popular support, Christianity and the atheistic belief system of Communism, are each clearly in decline. Yet people still feel the need both for the comfort and for the transcendent values that religion can provide. It is the quasi-religion of green alarmism and global salvationism, of which the climate change dogma is the prime example, which has filled the vacuum, with reasoned questioning of its mantras regarded as little short of sacrilege....
But, despite their success, there are still hundreds of millions of people ... in dire poverty, suffering all the ills that this brings, in terms of malnutrition, preventable disease, and premature death. Asking these countries to abandon the cheapest available sources of energy is, at the very least, asking them to delay the conquest of malnutrition, to perpetuate the incidence of preventable disease, and to increase the numbers of premature deaths....
Global warming orthodoxy is not merely irrational. It is wicked.
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It is Labor’s back-of-the-coaster management which created the disaster Abbott must fix

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (9:03am)

Technology Spectator on how Kevin Rudd decided on the National Broadband Network - a $44 billion (plus) disaster:
...ultimately the blame for the NBN’s poor execution has to lie at the feet of the then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Communications Minister Steven Conroy.
Urban legend has it the idea for the project was sketched out on a napkin – this writer has been told it was written on a drinks coaster in the Canberra Qantas Chairman’s Lounge – but whatever the truth is, the NBN suffered from being poorly thought out at the beginning.
Bit of a bad habit:



KEVIN Rudd’s botched batts scheme was hurriedly costed on the “back of a napkin” by the ­former prime minister, or one of his inner-circle, and an industry ­figure, the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation ­Program has heard.
Troy Delbridge says he was bullied and then sacked by the government as a technical adviser to the $2.8 billion program in July 2009 for repeatedly warning the rushed rollout put installers in danger.
The scheme, announced by Mr Rudd as an economic stimulus measure, was cut short in February 2010 after more than 100 house fires and four worker deaths.
Hired on a one-year contract in March 2009, environmental scientist Dr Delbridge said ... “(I was told) the costings were drawn up on the back of a napkin by some senior Labor Party politician ... and the head of the bulk (insulation) industry association,” said Dr Delbridge, who was hired to advise the government on technical, performance and safety aspects of the scheme.
“It was one of the prime minister’s inner-circle, whether it was him himself, I’m not sure.”
. For all the criticisms of Tony Abbott’s attempts to now balance the books, remember the grotesque Labor incompetence and recklessness that created the yawning deficits he must now fix. 
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What sinking ship, gurgles Bill Shorten

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (8:43am)

Labor pretends there isn’t a problem. Every lobby group is in the queue to be interviewed attacking the Abbott Government’s planned cuts.
We’re in trouble, and Chris Richardson of Access Economics is in despair:
(T)he next 72 hours will be a test of the maturity of the Australian electorate – and I have to say that history doesn’t fill me with confidence.
A bunch of the commission’s recommendations will be easy to demonise. Talkback and tabloid alike can and probably will have a rich feast on the political pain involved in good policy…
There will be free kicks galore available to the opposition and the populists (the Greens and Palmer United)… Australia’s social compact – our federal budget – is broken and in need of repair. As a nation, we will either have a good debate or a bad one about the way we do that repair. We are about to find out which it will be.
UPDATE
What crisis, asks shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, surveying the wreckage left by Labor. Why cut anything? Why raise any taxes?:
We’ll be putting a case that we shouldn’t be charging people to go to the doctor ... [Abbott] should immediately say he will not slow down the roll-out of the NDIS… Well again, there are a whole range of recommendations here, some of which would cause us concern in relation to carers, for example, others of which are complex and detailed… We maintain the position that increasing the GST or broadening the base is not good policy...
And:
“Let’s be very, very clear. There is no budget crisis, there is no budget emergency,” Mr Bowen told ABC Radio.
UPDATE
Adam Creighton on the timidity of the political class:
The Commission of Audit’s proposals will be greeted with hysteria from the usual rent-seekers and partisans of a larger state but they are in many ways quite modest and reasonable.
Even if the Coalition adopted all the recommendations in the upcoming budget, government spending per capita would still grow in real terms for each of the next 10 years.
By comparison, the Cameron government in Britain has had to cut real spending by about 1 per cent every year since 2010.
If growth turns out to be weaker than projected, as it has continually in recent years, the centrepiece of the Coalition’s fiscal vision, a 1 per cent surplus by 2023, will vanish.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 
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Taxes hurt, tax cuts help

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (8:03am)

Senator-elect Bob Day of Family First says no to a deficit tax and yes to lower taxes instead:
The first thing to say about taxation is that we need less of it, not more of it. As has been widely acknowledged – most recently by the Treasurer Joe Hockey, governments in Australia do not a revenue problem, they have a spending problem. So if I were Joe Hockey, I would ... announce ... the Government is declaring a moratorium on any new tax increases…
When the Australian company tax rate was cut from 39 to 30 percent, revenues went up not down. The famous Reagan tax cuts from 70% to 30% in the 1980s produced a $9 billion increase in revenue when a $1 billion shortfall had been forecast. Russia is another example, where the move to a 13 percent flat rate tax in 2001 increased revenues from 9 to 16 percent of GDP. When Sweden halved its company tax rate from 60 per cent to 30 per cent company tax revenue tripled.
Resistance to paying tax declines as people view the tax system as fair and reasonable.
And, of course, business tend to improve.
Day also warns against increasing the GST:
… a lift in the GST rate, or a base-broadening change, would simply give State governments more of our money. Why on earth should any sensible person want that?
These Treasury officials, economists and business people will of course say that they’re not looking to raise more revenue, they just want to raise more from the GST and then offset that by reducing other taxes. [But] by the time you have “compensated” everybody who says they will be worse off as a result of the rise or broadening of the GST, you are left with only a portion of what the GST increase will raise. The result, as it was in 2001, would be a higher level of expenditure, a higher level of taxation and no reduction in other taxes.
Oh, and don’t like this message from one of the cross-benchers who now share the balance of power in the Senate? Well, the big parties had better not think of reforms to stop them getting elected again:
The Abbott Government ... will need six votes to get its legislative agenda through the Senate. In the Senate there are six new crossbenchers. I am one of them. Now we’ve been variously described by the media as “a mishmash, grab bag, barnyard, liquorice allsorts, flotsam and jetsam, motley crew of Star Wars aliens!” with calls for the Electoral Act to be changed immediately to make sure this sort of thing never happens again…
Bear in mind 25% of the electorate did not vote for a major party ... but the non-major party senators took only 18% of the seats… Yes, people like Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party got a tiny number of primary votes but people weren’t specifically voting for him - it isn’t personal, any more than it is with the major parties, people do not vote for individual Senators, they vote for the party and Ricky Muir represented all those who voted for someone other than the major parties…
If the government is half smart it will not team up with Labor and the Greens to change the Electoral Act to prevent minor parties getting elected. That would certainly get us off on the wrong foot.
Bob Day’s speech here:


Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Taxes hurt, tax cuts help'
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The memo which shows the White House lying about Benghazi

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (7:31am)


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An email from Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, shows him coaching then-ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice on what to say on the Sunday TV shows following the co-ordinated terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which four Americans were killed.
Blame an anti-Muslim video, the email suggested - not the weak president or the terrorists:
Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show deputy national-security adviser Ben Rhodes providing Rice, as well as others on the e-mail, with a list of “goals” for handling the attacks. Two of them:

To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy. “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges.”
The White House preposterously claims the email wasn’t coaching Rice what to say about that week’s murder of four Americans in Benghazi but about the wider protests in the region.
Really? What else would the talk shows want to discuss but that week’s Benghazi attack? What else in the White House talking points covered that burning topic?
It is a cover-up and a deliberate campaign to lie to the American people:

State Department, CIA officials and reporters have explained that within 24 hours, certainly 48 hours (Sept. 13) the State Department and CIA knew this was a planned terrorist attack. The FBI was already dispatched. A background briefing by the State Department on Sept. 12 reiterated that this was a coordinated attack.
Yet the White House ordered Rice to pretend this was just a protest against an anti-Islamic video that got out of control. 
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Kathy Jackson: I told Shorten of my slush fund

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (7:12am)

The royal commission into union corruption is looking at union slush funds, and has been asked to look into this one:
HEALTH Services Union ­national secretary Kathy Jackson has tried to justify using union members’ money for a slush fund to support election campaigns of factional allies, and claimed she discussed one such campaign with Bill Shorten.
She claims the Labor leader, when he was a boss of the Australian Workers Union, and Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy, had talked about the matter at a dinner party at Mr Shorten’s house about nine years ago.
Ms Jackson ... was the secretary of the HSU’s Victoria No 3 branch [when] she ran a slush fund into which the union transferred nearly $300,000 over several years.
Ms Jackson last night said the transfers of union money to the fund, called the National Health Development Account, had been approved by the union’s committee of management, which knew it would be allocated for political purposes.
“There is no allegation that I benefited personally from the money in that bank account. None of those funds were used for my benefit or the private benefit of others,” Ms Jackson said.
“Money that came from that bank account was used to ­finance various union and Labor Party related causes. I discussed some payments from the account with Bill Shorten and Stephen Conroy,” Ms Jackson said.
“On one occasion at Mr Shorten’s home, we discussed a payment of $6000 from the HSU fund to finance a Labor Party member’s campaign.”
A spokesman for the Labor leader said: “Mr Shorten has ­absolutely no recollection of the ‘National Health Development Account’ being referred to.” A spokesman for Senator Conroy said he “has no recollection of a dinner or a discussion"…
[The] union’s acting national secretary, Chris Brown, has referred the allegations to the Fair Work Commission and the royal commission into union corruption.
I make no allegation at all of corruption in this matter. None. Besides, these are untested claims. But it’s not hard to see how the royal commission could drag Shorten into the witness box and that alone would cause political damage. 
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Why would Tony Abbott put a tax on his good word?

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (6:53am)

Professor Sinclair Davidson has tough words for Treasurer Joe Hockey about his planned new deficit tax:
In full knowledge of the budget situation you promised to repair the damage while not increasing taxes. To renege on that promise is simply to have told a lie. You will have lied when you promised to not increase taxes, and you will have lied about why you lied in the first place.
The IPA’s Simon Breheny just shows a Liberal poster:

UPDATE
Piers Akerman:
From the constant repetition of the “spreading the pain” mantra, it is clear that Abbott thinks (erroneously) that hitting up those Australians who already pay the overwhelming bulk of income tax will in some way make those who pay little or no income tax feel more kindly toward his government.
That is the sort of soak-the-rich attitude that unthinking generations of Labor trade unionists and politicians used to kill industry and stifle growth.
The Labor and Green voters, for whom this sort of pandering rhetoric is ambrosial, are never going to change their votes…
In raising a sum which would do little to meet even the interest bill on Labor’s $123 million deficit, Abbott would destroy the single greatest point of difference between himself and the last two Labor prime ministers.
He would have broken faith with the public who believed he was not lying when he promised no new taxes.
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Audit commission’s plan could save us but would kill the Government

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (6:42am)

The audit commission explained the trouble we’re in but its rescue plan would kill the Government, says Terry McCrann:
RELAX. Most - almost all - of the Commission of Audit’s recommendations won’t be implemented…
Take the most “courageous” recommendation: to effectively abolish Medicare.
Ask yourself - as Prime Minister Tony Abbott most certainly already has - if the Coalition promised to do that, would it even be able to put together a parliamentary cricket team on the Opposition benches after 2016’s election?…
Much the same applies to most of the commission’s other big recommendations.
Bluntly - brutally - this is less a road map to a sustainable fiscal future and more a road map to political oblivion....
There are a few, essentially minor [proposals], that have been picked up. The standout is the $6 - not $15, as recommended - Medicare co-payment.
The other is the pension age going to 70 after 2050.
Add the coming deficit levy, and that’s more than enough to make it difficult for the Government to win again in 2016.
UPDATE
But as the audit commission says, something must be done - and it’s its not these changes, then what?
Under the “business as usual” scenario the commonwealth’s budget remains in deficit out to 2023-24 and beyond.
If this occurred, Australia would record an unprecedented run of 16 consecutive years of deficits (and more in prospect), with net debt rising to around 17 per cent of GDP, or some $440bn.
Under the “reform” scenario the budget returns to surplus in 2019-20, with the surplus growing to 1 per cent of GDP by 2023-24.
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The Bolt Report on Sunday

Andrew Bolt May 02 2014 (12:51am)

On Channel 10 at 10am and 4pm.
Abbott breaks a promise. Should he be forgiven?
My guest: Amanda Vanstone, former Howard Government minister and member of the Commission of Audit.
The panel: Michael Kroger and Cassandra Wilkinson.
NewsWatch: Rowan Dean.
So much to discuss: destroying the handout mentality, budget cuts and the deficit tax. Plus:  the menace of Clive Palmer’s money and the arrest of a man who quoted Churchill in public.
Your Say and more.
The videos appear here.
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4 her, so she sees how I see her


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Labor really is embarrassing. Wayne Swan hops on the ABC and says Tony Abbott is playing politics with the NDIS and then says that unless Tony Abbott backs the medicare levy hike, the NDIS will become a partisan campaign issue. Bring on 14 September*

*Subject to Gillard keeping her word on something... David Elliot MP
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Hit 'Like' if you'd be happy to swap places with this waffle. Max Brenner
I refuse to let her use any implements like a knife or fork .. even a spoon seems excessive .. - ed
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Bertrand Russell to Oswald Mosley in 1962. This is how to tell someone you won't debate with them:
Yes it is polite .. not using violence .. and I agree with the sentiment .. but I don't feel it is the way to win a debate .. it seems to be more a way of giving up. - ed
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The Holocaust during WWII was one of the very low points in human history. Millions of Jews were systematically exterminated in concentration camps. These are the fats, and yet some still try to deny that the Holocaust ever happened. Whatever their reasoning, they maintain the stories are Nazi propaganda.
Showing great foresight, Dwight Eisenhower made an effort to stop any such attempts. In 1945, he visited one of the concentration camps near Gotha, and was shocked and horrified at what he saw. Though some of the sights made him physically ill, he inspected every part of the camps. He felt that it was his duty to see it all and be able to testify to the truth of the Nazi brutality.

Read more at http://www.omg-facts.com/History/President-Eisenhower-Predicted-Holocaust/56972#ZK2ZvScgpuzrBDBT.99 

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Strax returns to Doctor Who in 'The Crimson Horror', but what would he do if you called him a "potato head" and how would he deal with a Weeping Angel? Watch this video Q&A with him to find out! http://bit.ly/StraxQA

(If you do not watch this video, he will release his laser monkeys...)
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Flightless feathered dinosaurs that scampered around North America may have been the Darwin's finches of the Late Cretaceous era, as the wide variation in their beak shapes and body size provides scientists clues about how the small creatures could coexist by carving out different dietary niches. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/4le5
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May 2Flag Day in Poland
Aerial view of Old Portsmouth
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“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” - Hebrews 11:6
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers."
Song of Solomon 5:13
Lo, the flowery month is come! March winds and April showers have done their work, and the earth is all bedecked with beauty. Come my soul, put on thine holiday attire and go forth to gather garlands of heavenly thoughts. Thou knowest whither to betake thyself, for to thee "the beds of spices" are well known, and thou hast so often smelt the perfume of "the sweet flowers," that thou wilt go at once to thy well-beloved and find all loveliness, all joy in him. That cheek once so rudely smitten with a rod, oft bedewed with tears of sympathy and then defiled with spittle--that cheek as it smiles with mercy is as fragrant aromatic to my heart. Thou didst not hide thy face from shame and spitting, O Lord Jesus, and therefore I will find my dearest delight in praising thee. Those cheeks were furrowed by the plough of grief, and crimsoned with red lines of blood from thy thorn-crowned temples; such marks of love unbounded cannot but charm my soul far more than "pillars of perfume." If I may not see the whole of his face I would behold his cheeks, for the least glimpse of him is exceedingly refreshing to my spiritual sense and yields a variety of delights. In Jesus I find not only fragrance, but a bed of spices; not one flower, but all manner of sweet flowers. He is to me my rose and my lily, my heartsease and my cluster of camphire. When he is with me it is May all the year round, and my soul goes forth to wash her happy face in the morning-dew of his grace, and to solace herself with the singing of the birds of his promises. Precious Lord Jesus, let me in very deed know the blessedness which dwells in abiding, unbroken fellowship with thee. I am a poor worthless one, whose cheek thou hast deigned to kiss! O let me kiss thee in return with the kisses of my lips.

Evening

"I am the rose of Sharon."
Song of Solomon 2:1
Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world in a tenfold degree. Amongst flowers the rose is deemed the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than the rose can be in the gardens of earth. He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand. He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with him, for the King in his beauty transcends all. "I am the rose of Sharon." This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus is not "the rose" alone, he is "the rose of Sharon," just as he calls his righteousness "gold," and then adds, "the gold of Ophir"--the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest. There is variety in his charms. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of his love is sweet. Take the rose of Sharon, and pull it leaf from leaf, and lay by the leaves in the jar of memory, and you shall find each leaf fragrant long afterwards, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the very full. The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with the rose: and when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she shall still be content with Christ, nay, she shall be the better able to appreciate him. Heaven itself possesses nothing which excels the rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth his beauty? Human speech and earth-born things fail to tell of him. Earth's choicest charms commingled, feebly picture his abounding preciousness. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever!
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Today's reading: 1 Kings 10-11, Luke 21:20-38 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 10-11

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. 2 Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan--with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones--she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. 4When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the LORD, she was overwhelmed....

Today's New Testament reading: Luke 21:20-38

21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled....

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