Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tue Dec 30th Todays News

2014 was not precisely as Blair anticipated it. A new look senate meant a continuation of ALP dominance when Clive Palmer's PUP party managed a block of four and ruinously opposed government policy. It threatens the Australian economy and gives PUP extraordinary power. But the power of PUP is illusory. PUP has broken and fractured, but still behaves like an obstruction, but will be shown to be impotent if the ALP ever choose to pursue a positive agenda. But the ALP have opposed almost everything, including their own policies. The press have responded by despising the LNP and inferring division which seems to have resulted through misplaced ambition. Division will be used to crucify the LNP. It doesn't have to exist for the media to inflate it. But the government has been effective where it has been able to act. The removal of the Carbon Tax was a great success for reason and will boost Australia's prospects. The foreign policy has been spot on. Success with boat people is stunning. Partisan bodies like the HRC and Climate Council have been exposed, although frustratingly held in place by the Senate obstruction. The smoking gun of union corruption is gradually being uncovered. In Queensland, there was the failure to prosecute the Heiner inquiry from an apparently partisan judiciary. The ALP have corrupted the public service wherever they are. Poor South Australia and Victoria will suffer much for some time yet.

Bolt celebrates Christians and artists and creation. He misses the point of Christianity because although the genius is beautiful in some of it's art, the power and majesty lies in the humble, not in the pride of meaning. Great artists have delved deeply to make music and build the majestic and sublime. And while that may inspire, that isn't what Christ instructed or Paul exhorted. Christianity is about worshipping God through Christ, and that motivates people differently. In WW2, it motivated a theologian who had been instructed by Nazis to go against faith, to walk into their noose and surrender his life. Christianity saw her own flame extinguished by Chinese communists .. and spontaneously relight so that China is the world's fastest growing Christian community. Pathetically, some Christians are motivated to lie and cheat, as Westboro Baptist have done. As a rule of thumb, a Christian is best evaluated in faith terms by their humbleness. If they are prideful, as some Jew hating ones are, then they are not close to God.
Blair anticipates 2014. It will be different to 2013. The year will begin with an effective government, and mid year, will have a new look senate. Already, the economy is improving with a lower dollar and merchants reporting more business. But also substantial media opposition to successful outcomes. In 2013, media tried to blow up an effective relationship with Indonesia in the hopes that more people would drown and be exploited by pirates. That, in the mind of the left wing media would be a success for the ALP. Other successes for the ALP would be a failure of justice probes into corrupt union activity. Theft and exploitation of the poorest workers seems to be acceptable to the ALP, who protect a person who steals money from nurses to have sex with prostitutes, or funds an election campaign, or buys a house for a mate, or stands over a business to extort. Protection of those involved in destroying evidence of a child gang rape in detention is an appalling example of ALP government. It isn't bad that the press ask inappropriate questions, it is bad when they don't ask the right ones. 

What is deprivation to a Greenpeace warrior? Free food and board from a Russian government that he tried to harm, and an ungrateful Greenpeace terrorist complains that he didn't have enough vegetables. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. Something that AGW extremists trapped in summer ice in Antarctica may not have considered. Rescue ice breakers haven't been able to get through. No doubt, the report, the extremists will make, will say that they were unable to measure any warming abatement because of their predicament. Waleed Aly can count to three. That is good for an ABC presenter. Average age of the youth group called Get Up is 55, yet so immature. Trust Brandis to stand up for an independent and committed individual in Wilson. 

Historical perspectives on this day
In 1066, Granada massacre: A Muslim mob stormed the royal palace in Granada, crucified Jewish vizierJoseph ibn Naghrela and massacred most of the Jewish population of the city. 1460, Wars of the Roses: Battle of Wakefield. 1702, Queen Anne's War: James Moore, Governor of the Province of Carolina, abandoned the Siege of St. Augustine. 1813, British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York during the War of 1812. 1816, the Treaty of St. Louis (1816) between the United States and the united Ottawa, Ojibwa, and Potawatomi Indian tribes was proclaimed. 1825, the Treaty of St. Louis between the United States and the Shawnee Nation was proclaimed. 1853, Gadsden Purchase: The United States bought land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest. 1896, Filipino patriot and reform advocate José Rizal was executed by a Spanish firing squad in Manila, Philippines. Also 1896, Canadian ice hockey player Ernie McLea scored the first hat-trick in Stanley Cup play, and the Cup-winning goal as the Montreal Victorias defeat the Winnipeg Victorias 6–5. 1897, the British Colony of Natal annexed Zululand.

In 1903, a fire at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois killed at least 605. 1905, former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg was assassinated at the front gate of his home in Caldwell. 1906, the All-India Muslim League was founded in Dacca, East Bengal, British India. It went on to lay the foundations of Pakistan. 1916, the last coronation in Hungary was performed for King Charles IV and Queen Zita. 1919, Lincoln's Inn in London, England, UK admitted its first female bar student. 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed. 1927, the Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opened in Tokyo, Japan. 1936, the United Auto Workers union stages its first sitdown strike. 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose raised the flag of Indian independence at Port Blair. 1944, King George II of Greece declared a regency, leaving the throne vacant. 1947, King Michael I of Romania was forced to abdicate by the Soviet Union-backed Communist government of Romania. 1948, the Cole Porter Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1,077 performances), opened at the New Century Theatre and became the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award.

In 1958, the Guatemalan Air Force sank several Mexican fishing boats alleged to have breached maritime borders, killing three and sparking international tension. 1965, Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines. 1972, Vietnam War: The United States halted heavy bombing of North Vietnam. 1977, for the second time, Ted Bundy escaped from his cell in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 1981, in the 39th game of his third NHL season, Wayne Gretzky scored five goals, giving him 50 on the year and setting a new NHL record previously held by Maurice Richard and Mike Bossy, who earlier had each scored 50 goals in 50 games. 1993, Israel and Vatican City established diplomatic relations. 1996, in the Indian state of Assam, a passenger train was bombed by Bodo separatists, killing 26. Also 1996, proposed budget cuts by Benjamin Netanyahu sparked protests from 250,000 workers who shut down services across Israel. 1997, in the worst incident in Algeria's insurgency, the Wilaya of Relizane massacres, 400 people from four villages were killed.

In 2000, Rizal Day bombings: A series of bombs exploded in various places in Metro Manila, Philippines within a period of a few hours, killing 22 and injuring about a hundred. 2004, a fire in the República Cromagnon nightclub in Buenos Aires, Argentina killed 194. 2005, Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the open Atlantic Ocean, tying the record for the latest tropical cyclone ever to form in the North Atlantic basin. 2006, Madrid–Barajas Airport was bombed. Also 2006, the Indonesian passenger ferry MV Senopati Nusantara sank in a storm, resulting in at least 400 deaths. Also in 2006, former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein was executed. 2009, a segment of the Lanzhou–Zhengzhou–Changsha pipeline ruptures in Shaanxi, China, and approximately 150,000 l (40,000 US gal) of diesel oil flowed down the Wei River before finally reaching the Yellow River. Also 2009, a suicide bomber killed nine people at Forward Operating Base Chapman, a key facility of the Central Intelligence Agency in Afghanistan. 2011, owing to a change of time zone the day was skipped in Samoa and Tokelau. 2013, more than 100 people were killed when anti-government forces attacked key buildings in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This column welcomes feedback and criticism. The column is not made up but based on the days events and articles which are then placed in the feed. So they may not have an apparent cohesion they would have had were they made up.

Editorials will appear in the "History in a Year by the Conservative Voice" series, starting with August https://www.createspace.com/4124406
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

Or the US President at
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/change-injustice-faced-david-daniel-ball-after-he-reported-bungled-pedophile-investigation-and/b8mxPWtJ or http://wh.gov/ilXYR

Mr Ball, I will not sign your petition as it will do no good, but I will share your message and ask as many of friends who read it, to share it also. Let us see if we cannot use the power of the internet to spread the word of these infamous killings. As a father and a former soldier, I cannot, could not, justify ignoring this appalling action by the perpetrators, whoever they may; I thank you Douglas. You are wrong about the petition. Signing it is as worthless and meaningless an act as voting. A stand up guy would know that. - ed

Lorraine Allen Hider I signed the petition ages ago David, with pleasure, nobody knows what it's like until they've been there. Keep heart David take care.

I have begun a bulletin board (http://theconservativevoice.freeforums.netwhich will allow greater latitude for members to post and interact. It is not subject to FB policy and so greater range is allowed in posts. Also there are private members rooms in which nothing is censored, except abuse. All welcome, registration is free.

Happy birthday and many happy returns Steve JohnstonNhi Tori Tran and Lisa Morson. Born on the same day, across the years, along with 
December 30Rizal Day in the Philippines (1896)
José Rizal
Wakefield is ours. So is Castillo. Yours was not a rebellion. You preside. Your bombs end in cease fire. Let's party. 


Tim Blair – Tuesday, December 30, 2014 (10:59am)

Syria remains the hot holiday destination for jihad-jolly youngsters wanting to die. From Sydney
A Bankstown extremist identified as the latest Australian jihadist to be killed fighting for Islamic State’s terror army in Syria was last night being praised as a martyr by friends and supporters in Australia.
It is believed Ahmed Mohammed Al-Ghazzawi was killed by Syrian forces on Boxing Day. 
And from Melbourne
A young Melbourne woman has become one of the latest in a string of Australians to be seduced by the Islamic State death cult, sneaking to Syria to marry a Jihadi playboy.
Zehra Duman’s distraught parents say the 21-year-old has been “brainwashed” and they are desperately working with authorities to bring her home. 
It doesn’t sound like much fun: “Duman is mainly confined indoors while Abullatif spends weeks away fighting in conflict zones.”

Christmas, artists and the celebration of creation

Andrew Bolt December 30 2014 (3:50pm)

Personal stuff I'm glad I wrote

I’m no Christian, but was admiring a painting of Christ in a Melbourne gallery when the artist popped in to see how it was all hanging.
He’d painted this big blue picture 60 years earlier, when he was just 19, hoping to enter it for the Blake Prize for religious art, but when he’d finished he found he was too poor to pay for the postage.
So he just took it home, where friends, including the artists Albert Tucker and Arthur Boyd, had dropped in and admired it.
I asked what he thought of this vivid painting now, after so many years and so many other paintings, and he looked at it for a while before answering: “I don’t know how I did it.”
That’s the miracle of creation – and maybe part of what we celebrate at Christmas Day. 
Richard Crichton didn’t know how he’d been inspired as a teenager to create.
But I’m guessing that he felt when painting it what I feel when I now see it on my wall – that, yes, there is something bigger than we can comprehend, which makes us feel part of something mysteriously larger than ourselves.
For me, Christianity is just a powerful metaphor for this sensation – an attempt to explain it and summon it, as well as to comfort and to guide.
Put me in a particularly fine service or particularly beautiful cathedral and I will get that sensation of the heart and the tears bursting free.  I felt it, for instance, listening to a Mozart mass for Epiphany in Vienna’s magnificent Stephansdom cathedral.
But other great acts of creation also suggest a mysteriously great force.
Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel or the glorious Transfiguration of Raphael hanging outside likewise seem works which come from some other place than that grey cauliflower of matter between the artists’ ears.
I suspect that’s why the death of Phillip Hughes last month seemed so unusually shocking. Such a great theft.
It wasn’t just that he was so young - just 25. Or that the accident was so random – hit in the neck by a ball.  Or that he died while being so fully alive – playing cricket.

Icon Arrow Continue reading 'Christmas, artists and the celebration of creation'

No need to mope. She just doesn't like me.



An assault on reason without addressing a need. I like racial diversity. I feel service is good, to others, and serving God is best, while serving only myself is selfish. I feel Democracy is far better than the alternatives. I like working for a living, it also beats the alternative.





















=== Posts from last year ===


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:26am)

In accordance with ancient tradition, it is once again time to gaze into my crystal balls as we look forward to events in the new year.

Icon Arrow Continue reading '2014 FORETOLD'


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:20am)

This is beautiful
A Greenpeace campaigner claims he was forced to live on bread and water while being held in a Russian prison because it didn’t offer a vegetarian alternative. 
(Via jailhouse gourmand PWAF)


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:09am)

Professor Turney and his UNSW colleague Professor Chris Fogwill are leading a team of 60 scientists, including meteorologists, marine ecologists, oceanographers, ice-core and tree-ring specialists.
The research stakes are high because the Antarctic is one of the great engines of the world’s oceans, winds and weather, especially in Australia.
Already scientists believe there is evidence of climate change. 
Things haven’t exactly worked out as planned. Turney, the Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, is now trapped with his climate changey pals by gigantic masses of old-fashioned Antarctic ice. The activists seem mystified
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up. 
Even rescue vessels can’t make it through the ice-loaded waters, leaving the activists to spend their time with puzzled locals:


Caption contest: what is that penguin thinking?


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (5:07am)

If the ABC is so worried about an AFL footballer using a camera while he’s driving, shouldn’t the ABC be just as worried about one of its own presenters doing the same thing?


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:59am)

Waleed Aly checks the numbers
This year, we’ve had three prime ministers, Victoria has had two premiers, the Northern Territory has had two chief ministers (and, while we’re at it, Catholics have had two Popes). 


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:39am)

The average age of GetUp! members is 55. The median age of ABC viewers is even older
The ABC is out to attract younger viewers to its main ABC1channel next year, with research revealing it has the oldest audience of any of the Australian TV networks.
Fusion Strategy figures show that the median age of ABC1viewers is 63 – much older than SBS (57) and channels 7 (49), Nine (45) and Ten (41). 
This explains why the ABC’s middle-aged comedy group are routinely described as “the Chaser boys”. Relative to their audience, they are. And then we have the radical youth wing of the CFMEU:


(Via Angus Black)


Tim Blair – Monday, December 30, 2013 (4:29am)

Humour makes us free. Which is why the authoritarian left hates it.

George Brandis on the enemies of freedom - and of Tim Wilson

Andrew Bolt December 30 2013 (11:37am)

Attorney-General George Brandis on Tim Wilson, the new freedom commissioner Brandis appointed to the Human Rights Commission:
More often than not, Wilson has taken a position in opposition to that of the Liberal Party. The list is long, but it includes issues as various as industry assistance, public broadcasting, renewable energy targets, tobacco packaging, industrial relations policy, health insurance, bikie laws and gay marriage, to name but a few. 
To describe a person who has been an articulate public opponent of the Liberal Party on so many of the issues which have defined the politics of recent years as a Liberal Party “partisan” seems to me, with all due respect to van Onselen, to be absurd.
I do think van Onselen has been particularly unfair on Wilson. And maybe conservatives have been unfair on Brandis, now revealing himself as a man up for the fight:
But some things never change, like the reaction of the claque of bilious pseudo-intellectuals who constitute what passes for a left-wing commentariat in this country. Mike Carlton, Catherine Deveney, Van Badham and their ilk were nothing if not boorishly predictable. 
They and their followers unleashed a storm of hatred and bile against Wilson on social media, the like of which I have never seen. The irony that these people pose as the enemies of “hate speech” was lost on them, if not on others.
I do think that if anything about Wilson’s appointment deserves comment it is the utterly vicious reaction to it by people so terrified of freedom that they unleash the hate speech they claim to condemn.
(Via Catallaxy.) 

Warmists trapped by irony off Antarctica

Andrew Bolt December 30 2013 (7:03am)

Explorer Douglas Mawson lands in Commonwealth Bay, Antarctica, in clear water in 1912. (Video here.)
Warmist scientists and reporters waiting for rescue after trying the same trick a century later.
Douglas Mawson was not worried about global warming even though his team landed on Antarctica on January 8, 1912, in fine weather:
The sun shone gloriously in a blue sky as we stepped ashore on a charming ice-quay-- the first to set foot on the Antarctic continent between Cape Adare and Gaussberg, a distance of one thousand eight hundred miles…
In landing cargo on Antarctic shores, advantage is generally taken of the floe-ice on to which the materials can be unloaded and at once sledged away to their destination. Here, on the other hand, there was open water, too shallow for the `Aurora’ to be moored alongside the ice-foot.... 
The day had been perfect, vibrant with summer and life, but towards evening a chill breeze sprang up, and we in the motor-launch had to beat against it. By the time we had reached the head of the harbour, Hoadley had several fingers frost-bitten and all were feeling the cold, for we were wearing light garments in anticipation of fine weather. 
A century later, global warming believers decide to retrace Mawson’s trip in the conviction the climate has got a lot warmer since, thanks to man. They are are accompanied by a journalist of the warmist Guardian who earlier this month reported:
This Sunday, scientists will begin a month-long expedition to retrace Mawson’s journey and examine how the eastern Antarctic, one of the most pristine, remote and untouched parts of the world’s surface, has fared after a hundred years of climate changes. “They collected a wealth of scientific data on this entirely new continent,” says Prof Chris Turney, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales, Australia, and leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013. “As a result, it provides this incredibly good baseline – we’re going to repeat the measurements and see how much has changed over the last century… 
“We’re heading towards east Antarctica in an area that’s traditionally been thought of as very stable – you can do almost anything to it, environmentally and climatically, and it will just sit there. But in the last few years we’re realising that that’s clearly not the case. Parts of it are very vulnerable...”
The strange thing about this right from the start was how in denial Turney’s team was about evidence suggesting there was, if anything, long-term cooling of Antarctic - and certainly increasing sea ice around the continent:
First difference. Where Mawson found a bay with clear water, Turney found a bay choked with ice, forcing his ship to stop some 70 km short of where Mawson landed:
We had reached Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica. To be precise, our ship, the MV Akademik Shokalskiy, was at the edge of an ice sheet that has been stuck fast to the entrance of the bay ever since a giant 75-mile-long iceberg, called B09B, grounded itself in the bay four years ago. 
Second difference. Turney’s ship is now stuck fast in the ice - an irony so obvious that theGuardian journalist on board avoids the phrase “climate change” in describing the expedition in his latest report:
Life has taken a turn for the worse since Christmas Day, when gusts of up to 70mph slammed into the hull of the MV Akademik Shokalskiy and snow circled its decks, making it impossible to stand up straight outside. 
Since then we have been stuck in pack ice. The Chinese icebreaker Xue Long has given up its attempt to rescue us as ice sheets continue to spread and thicken. Now Xue Long is waiting for the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis to join it in a joint bid to free our ship…
We were only two nautical miles from the ocean before Christmas, but that distance has now swelled to around 20 nautical miles as the blizzards and winds have continued. If the joint efforts of the Aurora Australis and Xue Long don’t work, the only other option will be to evacuate the ship by air, though this would be the absolute worst case scenario. 
I am with the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by climate scientist Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales. We are following a century-old expedition led by the British-Australian Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson, who landed in Commonwealth Bay in January 1912. We – a group of scientists and paying members of the public acting as science assistants – plan to repeat many of Mawson’s scientific measurements in order to understand how this pristine landscape has changed over the past 100 years. 
Here’s how it’s changed, boys. There is more ice. 
Reader Adam:
I wonder what their carbon footprint will be if they are all lifted off by helicopter. Quite high I presume, if we use their own typically exaggerated measurements. With that in mind it seems only reasonable to hold them accountable with their own standards and leave them there. That way they could also accurately recreate Mawson’s voyage by sitting there for a year and waiting for the ice to melt. 
I predict a Lord of the Flies type scenario unfolding.
NOTE: The Aurora made it into Commonwealth Bay in three successive summers to land and pick up members of Mawson’s expedition.
Turney’s team is still in astonishing denial. It is stuck in thick ice off a continent that has more of it than usual, yet still it claims warming is melting more ice than ever:
Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up
This is pathological.
So what does a warmist like Turney do when he’s trapped in ice? Simple: blame global warming for not melting what global warming should have:
Q: Dr Adam Rutherford: The fact that it’s expanding, that - that sounds counter-intuitive, when we talk about the polar ice caps melting, as a result of global warming. 
A: Prof Chris Turney:  Yeah, well, it’s a fascinating thing, isn’t it, really. Ultimately, global warming covers a vast array of different responses by our planet. And one of the fascinating things that we’re seeing is suggestions that large parts of the oceans off East Antarctica are actually getting fresher. And yet you’ve got this expanding sea ice, and one of the ideas we’re testing out here is this idea that when you’re melting the sea ice around the East Antarctic coastal fringes, at depth - not from air temperature but from warmer oceans - what you’re doing is you’re putting that fresh water from the Antarctic ice sheets into the oceans. It’s lighter, it’s less dense than salt water, so it floats to the surface relatively, and then it’s more vulnerable to freezing. And hence you get an expansion of sea ice cover. So that’s one idea that we’re testing at the moment.
Like I said. It’s pathological.
Mind you, Turney has some strong vested interests in blaming warming for causing freezing where he predicted melting:
I am an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales where my team and I are focussing our efforts on using the past to better understand the changes we are seeing today. To do something positive about climate change, I helped set up a carbon refining company called Carbonscape which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.
(Tim Flannery joins the Turney family on the Carbonscape Holdings share registry.)
And Turney once wondered why people didn’t take his warnings seriously:

(Thanks to readers AndrewS and Matt. More on this surreal expedition at Watts Up With That.) 
Still less efficient and less safe than nuclear power. Still less efficient than coal. - ed
He isn't measured for what he gets wrong .. that is grace. - ed

Let's do lunch .. (looks up) .. I'm talking to the child .. ed===
It needs to be named appropriately. "ALP bad government debt fee" it should be set at $500, but with a $495 rebate for pensioners and conservatives. - ed
Up at 5:30 this morning to get ready for carpet people. Expected 7:30 start. Arrives at 8:30 to tell me that he was expecting to work in an empty unit. Cancels day. FML - ed
The Chairman of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, admitted that in 1948, “Arab armies forced Palestinians to leave their homes (the PLO’s weekly, Filastin A-Thawra, March 1976).” On May 13, 2008, Al Ayyam, the second largest pro-Mahmoud Abbas Palestinian daily, claimed: “[In 1948] the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) told Palestinians to leave their houses and villages, and return a few days later, so the ALA can fulfill its mission.”
Calling the Pope an Anti-Semite
Calling the Pope an Anti-SemiteActions and words paint a sorry picture of the Vatican and Israel.Giulio MeottiI always had the feeling that Pope Francis would  be eager to engage in the presentation of a cordial dialogue with Di\aspora Jews and that if this occurred, he would   address the Holocaust

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12
The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."
But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for--
He who hath helped thee hitherto
Will help thee all thy journey through.
When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!


"What think ye of Christ?"
Matthew 22:42
The great test of your soul's health is, What think you of Christ? Is he to you "fairer than the children of men"--"the chief among ten thousand"--the "altogether lovely"? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy. I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without his presence, if you have cared little for his honour, if you have been neglectful of his laws, then I know that your soul is sick--God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, how can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, "O that I knew where I might find him!" I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee--I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? Has he a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldest thou set him higher if thou couldest? Wouldest thou be willing to die if thou couldest but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims his praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayest think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with him ere long.
"Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is he"

Today's reading: Zechariah 9-12, Revelation 20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Zechariah 9-12

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies
1 A prophecy:
The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrak
and will come to rest on Damascus—
for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel
are on the LORD—
2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it,
and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.
3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
she has heaped up silver like dust,
and gold like the dirt of the streets.
4 But the Lord will take away her possessions
and destroy her power on the sea,
and she will be consumed by fire.
5 Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in agony,
and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
Gaza will lose her king
and Ashkelon will be deserted....

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 20

The Thousand Years
1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years....
Nathan [Nā'than]—he hath given.
  1. The third child of David, born after he came to reign over Israel (2 Sam. 5:141 Chron. 3:514:4 ).
  2. The distinguished prophetduring the reigns of David and Solomon, who brought home to David the enormity of his sin. What a piercing arrow from the divine bow that was—Thou art the man (2 Sam. 7:2-17121 Kings 11 Chron. 17). Although the confidential adviser of King David, Nathan was unsparing in his condemnation of his monarch’s sin. Nathan also wrote a history (2 Chron. 9:29).
  3. The father of Igal, one of David’s heroes ( 2 Sam. 23:36).
  4. Father of Solomon’s chief officer (1 Kings 4:5).
  5. Son of Attai and father of Zabad, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:36).
  6. Brother of Joel, one of David’s heroes (1 Chron. 11:38).
  7. A chief man with Ezra at the brook of Ahava (Ezra 8:16).
  8. A son of Bani who put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:39).
  9. A chief man in Israel (Zech. 12:12).
  10. An ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:31).
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