Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sun May 11th Todays News

It is Mother's day in Australia and time to reflect on what is older than any profession. Without Mum, we would not have language, as that comes from the need to communicate with the child who might not even be able to move on their own. Mum does not merely cook or clean, she dotes. Before one is able to say, or even know they are hungry, a mum is there in charge. A baby is helpless, demanding, manipulative and a package of love. Mum is there from the beginning for each step. 

I love the day and the dedication, but am ambivalent regarding my own mother who is damaged and beyond my ability to help. I don't hate her, I just can't help her. And it is a very poor return for one who deserves much. God has blessed me and I have much to offer  but she won't take it. She feels better being able to assert control, even if that means denying herself love that she deserves. But such is the world, bizarre, big, beautiful, bountiful and full of pain. I love J Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5 description of change .. G'Kar continues speaking. "G'Quon wrote, 'There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.'" I am caustically critical of those who argue from the basis of hate. Hate is a lousy task master. It might appear that it fits into Western Dialectic philosophy which works in terms of opposites, but hate is impotent as a tool of analysis. 

Today I met a baby, child of a former student. Talking to the dad, I remark how they aren't born with knowledge of rules, but need to discover them, night, day, being hungry or thirsty and not knowing how to ask for what is needed. In the womb, a person is asleep, and unable to assert themselves until they take a breath after being born. An EMT nurse overhears and challenges my assertion that a baby is asleep in the womb. They are active, their eyes open and close. But a person can sleep with their eyes open, can kick too. The umbilical cord does not carry sufficient oxygen to maintain consciousness. But the EMT nurse corrects me again, saying her observations are that it can. To clarify, a person can be semi conscious when oxygen deprived, but the ability to concentrate is not there. It is a small point, not worth getting worked up over. But regardless, worth honouring mum. 

 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

Happy birthday and many happy returns Haris CehicJason Phuong andPeter Sov. Born on the same day, across the years. Today is the anniversary of that day in 868 that the first known printed book to survive to today was made, called the Diamond Sutra. Not the same subject matter as that other Sutra .. Something to live up to

Slash public service and make us all happy

Piers Akerman – Sunday, May 11, 2014 (10:16am)

FORGET the Fruit Fly Circus, Tuesday’s Budget will have to provide a true double whammy in the balancing department to please the punters.
Not that the Abbott government would expect them to be turning cartwheels at the prospect of paying more for petrol, more in income tax through the debt levy, and more for medical visits.
As one reader wrote to me: “I thought class warfare was the M (odus) O (perandi) of socialist parties like Labor and the Greens, but it looks like the Libs are getting in on the act and intend to punish those who help themselves and create wealth and contribute the greater share of tax revenue anyway.
“They would be betraying the very people who voted for them if this is introduced, and do so at their peril. The people they would be punishing, ­mostly their supporters, received no Kevin Rudd $900 cheques, unlike overseas backpackers, retirees who live overseas, dead people and pets. Also, they are the very people who receive no carbon tax benefit when they’re whacked with their whopping electricity bills. And to think I stood out in 39 degrees handing out how-to-vote cards for them. Even their very own Audit Commission report didn’t recommend it.”
The writer, a staunch worker for the Liberals for many years, vented the anger that many at the grassroots feel, and doubtless they were even more enraged when they read The Daily Telegraph’s Friday report on the 48 per cent of Australians who pay no tax at all.
Somehow, Tony Abbott’s team’s mantra of “equality of sacrifice” doesn’t douse the ­incandescent outrage, particularly when the numbers of ­people bludging on the dole or disability support pension is factored in. If Abbott wants to make a personal sacrifice he should dump or defer his paid parental leave scheme.
The leaks about the nasties in next week’s Budget have ­almost drowned the changes that might have helped placate to a degree those who will bear most of the burden.
Dumping the tainted Australia Network which the ABC runs, for example. That the members of the ABC board ever permitted CEO Mark Scott to embrace that operation after the flawed tender processes were tossed aside will remain an indelible reflection on their judgment. But that’s a small saving. The ABC’s operations should be run professionally as the Audit Commission suggested and should not enter the commercial arena.
Other areas of government spending — stuff the taxpayer picks up the bill for — will be cut and there will be all the usual squeals from the public sector unions.
As they are highly unionised and their unions throw money at the Labor Party, it is safe to suggest that the members largely vote Labor. Why wouldn’t they vote for the party which not only supports their jobs and their pay rises, but is also guaranteed to ­expand their organisations?
The cries from Canberra are already ringing out across the Monaro, but if the UK experience is anything to go by, cutting the public service can be of great benefit to the nation.
Faced with far greater debts than Australia (the business-as-usual projections in the Audit Commission report had the net debt rising to 17 per cent of GDP, in the UK its 80 per cent), the British Conservatives have ruled out any cuts to pensioner benefits, and no one has suggested a co-payment for the NHS, which means their cuts have had to fall on a far narrower base and also be deeper.
The important lesson that we should have learnt from the UK is that paring back spending and cutting into the public sector has not had the severe macro-economic consequences that the some predicted, and which Canberrans claimed would occur.
In the UK, growth has picked up quite strongly, and private-sector employment has grown, more than offsetting the fall in public-sector jobs.
As we know to our cost, the federal government is not equipped to do a lot of things. Not only does it have an education department but no schools and health department but no hospitals, its bureaucrats failed entirely when they were asked to take on tasks better left to the private sector.
If the lethal home insulation scheme is not a constant ­reminder of bureaucratic incompetence, the Green-tinged department of climate change, or the inadequate buildings constructed for the education revolution should be.
As sympathetic as I may be and as much as I might dislike paying more when the new measures start cutting in, I am unable to get into the spirit doom and gloom in this pre-Budget period.
My wrath is almost entirely focused on the Islamist terrorists Boko Haram, whose putrid ideology the ABC’s Muslim commentator Walid Aly ­refuses to acknowledge.
I would uncomplainingly scrimp to pay a levy or a tax if it would return these Nigerian girls to their families.

Costello is a hard act to follow - but at least we could try

Miranda Devine – Sunday, May 11, 2014 (1:59am)

ONE of the great tragedies of Australian political life is that Peter Costello never became Prime Minister. Whether it was through his own diffidence or through John Howard’s obstinance, Australia is the poorer for the Liberal Party’s failure to effect a proper succession plan.
The result was Kevin Rudd in a landslide, and we all know how that went.
Five budget deficits worth a combined $200billion, and close to $700 billion in debt over the next 10 years.  Servicing the interest alone costs $1 billion a month. Under Labor, the unemployment rate rose from 4.4% to 5.7%, and the number of long term unemployed almost doubled to 133,400. 
These figures are contained in a handy pre-budget pamphlet released by the Government, “Labor’s Mess”.
But on the eve of the 2014 budget which attempts to fix that mess, a better guide is Costello’s first budget. Rather than benchmarking against the aberration of six years of Labor train wrecks Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey should have copied Costello.
He had also inherited a Labor mess: a $10 billion deficit that year and $96billion in debt.
But under his economic management, interest rates dropped, unemployment fell to historic lows, Commonwealth net debt was wiped out, the tax system was reformed, industrial relations improved, the Future Fund established, and Australia enjoyed the longest period of uninterrupted growth in our history.
None of this was an accident. Costello methodically transformed Australia from the ‘sick man of Asia’ to a powerhouse which sailed through the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. 
For none of this has he been adequately thanked, by the public or by his colleagues, who scorned him for walking away from the leadership after the 2007 election.
Yet it was Costello who was primarily responsible for the excellent shape Australia was in when the global financial crisis hit in 2008. We likely would have sailed through again, without blowing the budget on Keynesian waste, thanks in no small part to the prudential regulation Costello instituted to ensure our banks were rock solid.
He achieved all this with great personal sacrifice, hard work and self-discipline, every year going through the budget line by line in a windowless Expenditure Review Committee room for 12 hours a day.
He internalised the stress to such an extent that he had to have a crown fitted on a tooth damaged by his constant grinding during GST debates. The dental technician, he recounts drily in his memoirs, drilled the letters GST on the inside of the crown, a permanent reminder of the cost of the job.
Before Costello handed down his first budget, the scare campaign ramped up to such an extent that union militants rioted at Parliament House, smashed through the front doors and rampaged though the building, dripping blood from broken glass. Costello was locked in his office by bodyguards for his own safety.
The next day he delivered the Budget, designed to achieve $8billion in cuts over two years. It was tough but well-received, and it set the stage for ten years of economic sunshine.
By the time Costello left office ten years later, Australia had the lowest unemployment since 1974, at 4.2 percent, down from 8.2 percent in March 1996, and consumer sentiment was the highest ever measured. GDP had grown by nearly 50 per cent since 1996.
Under his stewardship, real wages grew 20 per cent, and inflation dropped from 5.2 percent to 2.5 percent.
The number of Australians in the work force grew by 2 million, from 8.3 million in March 1996 to 10.5 million in September 2007.
Average mortgage rates fell from 12.75 percent to 7.25 percent, and average small business lending rates went from 14.25 percent to 8.9 percent.
He cut taxes every year from 2003. We got used to seeing our pay packets grow every July. We took it for granted.
When Costello came into office, you were taxed 20cents in every dollar you earned between $5,000 and $20,000, 34 cents between $20,000 and $38,000, 43 cents between $38,000 and $50,000 and 47 cents for every dollar over $50,000.
By the time he was finished, the bottom tax rate was 15cents. Between $20,000 and $80,000 you paid a flat rate of just 30cents, in cuts legislated for 2008.  The top rate of tax was 45 percent over $180,000.
At the same time, health spending more than doubled, from $19.5 billion to $51.8 billion, and federal investment in government schools rose from $1.4 billion to $3.5 billion.
It is extraordinary that, with all his expertise and achievements, Costello was barely consulted by Abbott and Hockey when they were drawing up their first crucial budget.
God knows why you would turn your back on your team’s proven success to recreate the wheel.
We’ll have to reserve judgement until Tuesday’s budget, but there is no excuse if it is not as effective as Costello’s. 
I agree with Devine on this, but .. there are questions which need to be asserted before I accept the thesis. I do not feel the situations are the same. Keating had left a mess that was all over the shop. Whereas the ALP under Rudd Gillard merely amped up spending and increased corruption by removing oversights. The difference means that spending, were it cut commensurately, would hit the poorest hardest .. and Abbott is scrupulously being fair .. it is a trap created by the ALP to cynically hurt the poorest. - ed===

Rudd’s personal pink batt

Miranda Devine – Saturday, May 10, 2014 (8:00pm)

PETER Garrett should buy a lottery ticket.
How lucky is he that his appearance at the pink batts royal commission is on Tuesday, when the media is preoccupied with the federal budget.
His testimony will be well worth hearing, since he acted as Kevin Rudd’s personal pink batt, insulating him from the consequences of his incompetence, and then showed his disgust by quitting when Rudd returned as PM. 

Monica helps out Hillary again

Miranda Devine – Saturday, May 10, 2014 (7:58pm)

Monica Lewinsky was a bright, 22-year-old White House intern when Bill Clinton laid eyes on her ample bosom in 1995 and commenced an “inappropriate relationship”.
Their sexual liaisons in the Oval Office, complete with cigars, altoids and a stained blue dress, blew up into a scandal which saw the president impeached for perjury.
Now, at 40, Lewinsky has written a tell-all for Vanity Fair. She’s never married or had a steady job, despite a master’s from the London School of Economics. Her reputation was trashed, and Clinton emerged unscathed.
“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” she writes. But maybe she wants to burn Hillary Clinton and bury her 2016 presidential bid.
It’s an understandable get-square. Hillary always badmouthed Lewinsky as a “narcissistic loony tune” and blamed her for the affair.
But people sympathised with the wronged wife and forgave her straying husband. Sadly for Lewinsky, she’s probably done the Clintons another favour. 

Politicians should fly like royalty

Miranda Devine – Saturday, May 10, 2014 (7:55pm)

If economy class is good enough for Prince William it should be good enough for our politicians and public servants. There is no good reason why the poor overburdened taxpayer should pay extra for them to sit in business class seats on domestic flights.
If politicians and public servants want to travel in more style, let them pay for the difference out of their own pockets. Frankly, it would do them good to share a cabin with the hard-working small business people and PAYG wage slaves who pay their salaries and perks and are sick of the wasteful spending of big government.
They shouldn’t be hobnobbing in the Qantas Chairman’s Lounge either. Let them sit out in the terminal with real people.
If the government is serious about tightening belts, they should remember that “equality of sacrifice” begins at home. 

The Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt May 11 2014 (10:02am)

On the show – Network 10 at 10am and 4pm....

Our guest: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Our panel: Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian and former Labor campaign guru Bruce Hawker.
On NewsWatch, Roger Scruton, the world’s leading conservative philosopher, analyses the socialist protesters who stopped Q&A.
And more, including a hypocrisy check on Chris Lilley’s new ABC comedy show.
The videos of the shows appear here.
11 MAY 2014
ANDREW BOLT, PRESENTER: Tuesday’s Budget seems almost certain to include new taxes, including a rise in the fuel excise. The Opposition is already calling it Liberals’ carbon tax. But there will be big savings too, including $2.5 billion the Government saved by stopping the boats. Joining me is Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Thank you for your time.
SCOTT MORRISON, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: Good morning, Andrew, and happy Mother’s Day to all those mothers out there, particularly the mother of my wonderful kids, Jenny.
ANDREW BOLT: Terrific. You’ve done my duty for me. I want to get into the Immigration portfolio in a minute, but first, why are you thinking of breaking a tax promise when that’s exactly what you were criticising the Gillard Government for doing? Why throw away your reputation like that so early in the term?
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, the challenge here is big, the mess Labor has left behind is big, and the real question on this Budget - is this a responsible and fair response to the mess that Labor has left us? And that’s really the test of this Budget - is it a responsible and fair response and a way to address the terrible mess left behind to us by Labor? We knew it was a big mess, and the options are there in front of us, and the Treasurer and the Prime Minister have been outlining those. But at the end of the day that’ll be confirmed one way or another on Tuesday night.
ANDREW BOLT: Look, I accept that the reason is to fix the Budget, and your first big promise was to fix the Budget - accept that. But a lot of conservatives and even your own – you know, people on your own team, are upset. Why do you consider yourself not bound by your promise not to raise taxes?
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, look, I’ll leave others to go into the issues about what was said and when was said and these sorts of things. But the task is clear, the challenge, the way ahead. I mean, this is a Government that can’t duck away or try and avoid the consequences of the previous government’s overspending. And so we just have to get on with the job of fixing this Budget, and we always knew that would be tough. And there are some, I’m sure, difficult choices in this Budget and there’ll be consequences right across the board. But no-one else will do it for us. I mean, we didn’t create this mess but we do have the responsibility for fixing this mess. So the real test of this Budget is - is this a responsible and fair way to deal with the mess that Labor has left us?
ANDREW BOLT: But, obviously, raising taxes implies that you didn’t – you didn’t want to cut spending by the equivalent amount. Did you lack the courage?
Icon Arrow Continue reading 'The Bolt Report today'

Showing concern saves no one

Andrew Bolt May 11 2014 (5:36am)

Mark Steyn on fighting Boko Haram with pictures of concern:
It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture [of Michelle Obama] is a useful contribution to rescuing 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by jihadist savages in Nigeria. Yet some pajama boy at the White House evidently felt getting the First Lady to pose with this week’s Hashtag of Western Impotence would reflect well upon the Administration. The horrible thing is they may be right: Michelle showed she cared - on social media! - and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?
Just as the last floppo hashtag, #WeStandWithUkraine, didn’t actually involve standing with Ukraine, so #BringBackOurGirls doesn’t require bringing back our girls. There are only a half-dozen special forces around the planet capable of doing that without getting most or all of the hostages killed: the British, the French, the Americans, Israelis, Germans, Aussies, maybe a couple of others. So, unless something of that nature is being lined up, those schoolgirls are headed into slavery, and the wretched pleading passivity of Mrs Obama’s hashtag is just a form of moral preening.
But then what isn’t? The blogger Daniel Payne wrote this week that “modern liberalism, at its core, is an ideology of talking, not doing”.
Lara Prendergast:

Boko Haram – whose name means ‘western education is sinful’ – does not distinguish between the education of girls and boys. In February, the group attacked another school. After boarding up every exit, its men seized 59 boys and gunned them down or cut their throats with machetes. Some buildings were sealed up and set alight. The girls were ordered to go home, abandon their ‘wicked’ schooling and seek husbands.
Where was the selfie protest then? Or does a savage affront to male education matter less than a savage affront to female education? The answer should clearly be no. For equality to count, both boys and girls need to feel safe in school. By focusing only on the girls – ‘Our Girls’ – we forget the boys who are also in danger.
The most astonishing example of the don’t-mention-Islam phenomenon - Nafeez Ahmed in The Guardian:
The kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls, and the massacre of as many as 300 civilians in the town of Gamboru Ngala, by the militant al-Qaeda affiliated group, Boko Haram, has shocked the world.
But while condemnations have rightly been forthcoming from a whole range of senior figures from celebrities to government officials, less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis.
Instability in Nigeria, however, has been growing steadily over the last decade - and one reason is climate change
No, don’t mention that Boko Haram is an Islamist group and don’t criticise those who refuse to. Otherwise some radio presenter will imply you’re just a you-know-what:
(Thanks to readers Peter of Bellevue Hill and Steve.)  

Pensions for millionaires

Andrew Bolt May 11 2014 (5:33am)

One day politicians will finally have to dare confront this:
Age pension payments to retirees with assets of more than $1 million cost about $2.5bn a year, according to independent public policy think tank the Grattan Institute…
(T)he Coalition appears set to lift the eligibility age for the pension to 70 by 2035 ... (b)ut eligibility age is not the real problem, when one can drive a truck through the other criteria.
A couple with a $3m house and $100,000 in cash are eligible for the full age pension, while another couple with a $400,000 house and $750,000 in shares and term deposits will receive nothing...<
The commission (of audit) recommended including from 2027 that portion of a principal residence worth more than $750,000 in the assets test. The Grattan Institute calculates that including the principal residence would save $5bn a year...

Abbott slashes politicians’ pay

Andrew Bolt May 11 2014 (5:25am)

Pre-empting the politics of envy:
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has ordered a pay freeze for himself, federal politicians and the nation’s top public servants.
The edict is understood to have the backing of the independent Remuneration Tribunal, which tomorrow is expected to announce it will agree to Mr Abbott’s request…
The pay freeze represents a double dose of pain for politicians, who will also be hit by the new deficit tax.
For the Prime Minister, who earns a salary of $500,000, the deficit tax charge will force him to pay $6400 in extra taxes. The pay freeze could cost the Prime Minister an estimated $10,000.,,
The average backbencher will miss out on an estimated $3900, based on a 2.4 per cent pay increase. But it follows big increases to politicians’ pay in the past two years, in which backbencher salaries leapt by $54,000 to $195,130…
But the pain for top public servants could be higher, with the tribunal also asked to deny chiefs salary hikes of up to $40,000 a year… It follows the Remuneration Tribunal’s decision to grant the Commonwealth’s 18 top departmental bosses pay rises of more than 5 per cent.The government has asked for those pay rises to be deferred or scrapped.
(Thanks to reader Peter of Bellevue Hill.) 

Ratings smash fueled by allegedly hot money

Andrew Bolt May 11 2014 (5:14am)

Our times:
THE banker in the alleged $7 million insider trading scam, Lukas Kamay, was the successful bidder last month for the apartment designed by the twins in The Block.
Several sources, including senior investigators, confirmed to the Sunday Herald Sun that Mr Kamay was the successful bidder for sassy sisters Alisa and Lysandra’s fully-furnished high end Albert Park loft apartment at the televised auction last month.
He paid a whopping $2.375 million for the three bedroom unit - $616,000 above the reserve of $1.76 million.




G’day fellow taxpayer,
No rant needed this time. The cartoon says it all.
Freelance Editorial Cartoonist/Caricaturist






















=== Posts from last year ===
4 her, so she can see how I see her



A couple had their wedding rings engraved with a waveform of their own voices saying “I do.”


The pedestrian crossing at the intersection on hindmarsh drive & canberra ave, that goes nowhere. Smart.
Born free .. it is so lions can cross safely .. - ed


Watch for these around your home!


What do they do at the Department of Climate Science and Meteorology at San Jose State University with books which dare to question global warming?

BURN THEM. Then proudly post a picture to their official web site. 

Details at


Give a Green Labor politician a match then he or she will be warm for a minute but set them on fire and they will be warm for the rest of their pitiful lives. 

Shorten has this up on his Face Book page. Tony Abbott has never said he was bringing back work choices. The words Tony used was "I will go after crooked and corrupt union officials" - ed

May 11Mother's Day in several countries (2014); National Famine Commemoration Day in Ireland (2014)
Mosaic of Constantine the Great




Holidays and observances[edit]

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” - Matthew 18:15
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"But now is Christ risen from the dead."
1 Corinthians 15:20
The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that "Christ is risen from the dead;" for, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are yet in your sins." The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in his resurrection, since he was "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." It would not be unreasonable to doubt his deity if he had not risen. Moreover, Christ's sovereignty depends upon his resurrection, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ's triumphant victory over death and the grave; for "He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with his resurrection, for we are "Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." If Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if he be risen then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in their flesh shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer's blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory, and binds them together. How important then will this glorious fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that "now is Christ risen from the dead"!
"The promise is fulfill'd,
Redemption's work is done,
Justice with mercy's reconciled,
For God has raised his Son."


"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14
Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if he be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; he hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of him, to me he must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be his name. And he is full of grace. Ah! had he not been, I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from his grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to his mercy-seat, he said, Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' And he is full of truth. True have his promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as he has been to me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness he makes my bed; in darkness he is my star, and in brightness he is my sun; he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all thy might the only Begotten.'"

[Jĕro bō'am] - enlarges, struggler for the people or the people have become numerous.
1. The son of Nebat from Zereda in Manasseh, who became the first king of the ten tribes of Israel. This Ephraimite, Jeroboam I, reigned for twenty-two years. His mother's name was Zeruah, who was widowed at the time of his birth. This is the Jeroboam who rebuked the unnamed prophet (1 Kings 11:26-40; 12-16).

The Man Who Made Israel Sin

The dreadful description of Jeroboam tied to his name like a label, is that "he made Israel to sin." His sin - the root and fruit of it - are the chief things the Bible records of this widow's son. We are familiar with the incident of Ahijah taking Jeroboam's new garment and tearing it into twelve pieces, giving Jeroboam ten pieces and prophesying the rending of Solomon's kingdom, and the government of ten tribes of that kingdom passing into Jeroboam's hands. No wonder Solomon sought to kill him. But after the king's death and the refusal of Rehoboam to follow good advice, the kingdom split and ten tribes went with Jeroboam.
Solomon had lost his kingdom by idolatry and Jeroboam proposed to keep his ten-tribe kingdom by idolatry. So, abandoning the commandment and promise of God, Jeroboam set up golden bulls, one in Bethel and the other in Dan. People must have religion of some sort, Jeroboam reasoned, as he made the worship of the calves a part of the constitution of his kingdom. How sad it is to read that the Lord gave Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam! The consequences of national idolatry continued, for eighteen kings sat upon the throne of Judah after his death, but not one of them gave up the golden calves. Of fifteen of them it is said that they departed not from the sin of Jeroboam. As with the kings, so with the people who continued to walk in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did (2 Kings 17:22, 23).
There is no need to linger over what befell Jeroboam himself. He was warned by the man of God from Judah, but without avail. His son fell sick and died, and Jeroboam shortly after was defeated by his enemies. Then the Lord struck him and he died. Yet his name lives on with the terrible mark against it. "He made Israel to sin."
2. A son of Joash or Jehoash the grandfather of Jehu, who succeeded Joash as king over the ten tribes, and who reigned for forty-one years ( 2 Kings 13:13; 14:16-29; 15:1, 8; 1 Chron. 5:17; Amos 1:1; 7:9-11). Both Hosea (Hos. 1:1 ) and Amos describe the temporary prosperity of Israel with the accompaniment of social and moral degeneracy during the reign of Jeroboam II. Under him, Israel regained the territory it lost to its hereditary enemy, Syria. The aspect of commanding interest in Jeroboam's age when materialism was in the saddle was the appearance of a man with a message. Amid the shallow optimism possessing king and people alike was the voice of Amos, the herdsman of Tekoa, saying in effect: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever."
Israel's prosperity ended with the death of this Jeroboam. A period of anarchy followed. Then he was succeeded by his son Zachariah, who after a reign of only six months, was murdered by Shallum who, in turn, was assassinated one month later. Think of it, three kings sat on Israel's throne in seven months! Four out of six kings succeeding Jeroboam died violent deaths. In less than fifteen years four of Israel's kings were murdered.
Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional


They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. That is because “new” can only be new once.
What an impression God made at the start of all things. The very beginning of the very beginning was that Genesis moment when the wish of God became the word of God which then became the world of God. “God said ‘let there be...’”
It all happened in an instant. There was nothing; and then there was a universe where there had been nothing. Hebrews 11:3 puts it this way: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Theologians refer to this as creation ex nihilo , “out of nothing.” It would be remarkable enough if God created mountains and seas, reptiles and mammals, men and women out of some pre-existing clay. But that is not how it happened. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. No molecules or energy waves; no planets or stars. And then there was a universe. The desire of God made real. The real beginning. The first new thing.
So whenever we long for something new to happen in our lives or in the world–especially those things we know only God can do–we can know that God likes beginnings. He really does. Otherwise the Bible wouldn’t say so much about new beginnings. God longs to renew what has become tired, broken, confused, shattered or corrupted in our lives. He just does not give up. At the end of Scripture God says “I am making everything new!” (Rev. 21:5). What does “everything” include? Let’s think about that together.
As we unpack what that means in this new weekly devotional we’re calling Everything New our foundation is this big truth: God invented “new.” And that’s because of who he is.


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.

Today's reading: 2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51 (NIV)

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Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 10-12

Ahab's Family Killed
1 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab's children. He said, 2 "You have your master's sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most worthy of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne. Then fight for your master's house...."

Today's New Testament reading: John 1:29-51

John Testifies About Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel...."

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