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25 november: Heilige Catharina van Alexandrië, maagd en martelares

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Catharina werd in de derde eeuw geboren in Alexandrië (Egypte) als dochter van koning Costus. Er is niet veel van haar bekend, het meeste is gebaseerd op legenden. We weten wel dat ze heel mooi was, en rijk en hoogbegaafd. Vooral haar onovertroffen trots wordt vermeld. Geen enkele vrijer was goed genoeg voor haar. Altijd was er wel iets dat niet deugde. Op een dag trof Catharina een oude kluizenaar die haar vertelde dat Jezus Christus haar bruidegom zou worden. Deze uitspraak maakte een diepe indruk op het meisje en ze besloot gemaakte fouten voorgoed te vereffenen en een nieuw leven te beginnen. Ze ging naar een priester en liet zich dopen.

Kort daarop werd er in de stad een feest gevierd ter ere van de goden en iedereen die iets betekende werd uitgenodigd aan dit feest deel te nemen. Ook Catharina ontving deze uitnodiging en werd verzocht iets mee te nemen om aan de goden te offeren. Ze besloot naar Alexandrië te gaan met de bedoeling om de keizer te vertellen dat zijn goden afgoden waren en niet vereerd mochten worden.

Door haar geweldige redenaarstalent wist zij de heersers in verlegenheid te brengen. De keizer riep daarop de 50 beste filosofen en retoren bij elkaar met de bedoeling om haar met haar uitspraken door de mand te laten vallen. Maar toen het moment daar was werden alle argumenten die zij allen aanvoerden met de grond gelijk gemaakt. En alle aanwezigen bekeerden zich tot het christendom. De woedende keizer veroordeelde daarop de 50 geleerden tot de brandstapel. Tot het laatste moment stond Catharina de 50 mannen terzijde. Daarop werd zij zelf gevangen genomen en in de kerker geworpen. Vreselijke folteringen moest zij ondergaan. Zo werd ze met nagels op raderen gebonden.

Wekenlang liet men haar hierop liggen zonder voedsel. Steeds weer stond zij gezond en wel voor de keizer en vertelde hem zijn dwalingen. Tenslotte liet de keizer haar in het jaar 306 onthoofden, zodat hij van haar verlost zou zijn.

Catharina behoort tot de veertien helpers in nood. Zij is patrones van leraren, studenten, scholieren, meisjes, maagden, gehuwde vrouwen, theologen, filosofen, universiteiten, bibliotheken, ziekenhuizen, redenaars, molenaars, schippers, kappers, boekdrukkers, schoenmakers, naaisters, notarissen, advocaten, drenkelingen en van veldvruchten, en patrones tegen migraine en tongaandoeningen.

          

Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 14

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Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 14 Welcome to Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 14 Whether you’re superstitious or not, the number 13 when it came to fantasy football was unlucky for a good number of people. As the gameweek with the same number, the alleged curse struck those who had kept faith in Mason Mount as he started the match at the Etihad on the bench, whilst Raheem Sterling continued to do nothing but a wrongly disallowed goal at the end – he did actually play in that match, you know – and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in a ‘sure fire’ of a game against Southampton, also only raised an assist. Those who captained Vardy, however, thinking he was going to follow on from what he did against Arsenal, would be entitled to wonder what the fuss of such a ‘hex’ was all about, however, whilst those who thought they’d take a chance on Heung-Min Son were also handsomely rewarded. Perhaps, you know, that’s just the nature of FPL and that could be pretty much any week. As much as it’s a game of skill with the inclusion of the right players and, in the case of the price changes, the right timing, there’s sometimes no accounting for what can happen on the pitch in those 90 minutes. Especially this season, where VAR still can’t be used correctly in a depressing amount of occasions a third of the way in. If you are, again, looking at your team in horror, I’ll just reiterate what Kop said last week in that the barrage of gameweeks between now and the start of 2020 mean that you can transform your fortunes within a short amount of time. Transform to what remains to be seen, however this article will hopefully point you in the right direction! I’ll just say to not forget there’s a midweek deadline next week and that the large amount of games usually means the festive period sees a lot of rotation within Premier League squads. It’s good to have players on your bench that will actually play, should their services be called upon. Goalkeepers My first recommendation for goalkeepers is the Fantasy Football 24/7 favourite, Nick Pope. Having kept a clean sheet and collected two bonus points for two games in a row, the England player is now joint-second with Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale when it comes to points, as Kasper Schmeichel and Mathew Ryan both sit pretty at the top with four more. As many have opted for him to be their only playing ‘keeper, that means he has amassed 54 of your total points total so far, certainly not bad when you consider the fact you don’t expect much from the guy who stands between the sticks. Following on from the 18 points collected against West Ham and Watford, the fella who will now set you back £4.7m can look forward to playing against Crystal Palace, a team that has scored as many as Newcastle with 11 – only Watford have scored fewer. That’s 0.85 per match and so it’s clear to see where the Eagles’ problems lie. Things do get quite a bit tougher for Burnley over the next two matches, as Man City then visit Turf Moor on Tuesday night and it’s a trip to a potentially revitalised Spurs shortly afterwards. Still, there are always those save points you can rely on him, as Aston Villa, Chelsea and Leicester are the only sides that have left him with just one point so far this season. If you’ve got a bit more cash to spare and you don’t already have three Leicester players, you may like to consider the Foxes’ Kasper Schmeichel, costing £5.2m. Whilst his 33 saves would put him 13th in the table when compared to his fellow gloved-players, the Dane has proved to be one of the main assets in Brendan Rodgers’ team as he has kept six clean sheets. That’s the highest in the league at the moment – which has, of course, been very handy for owners of Soyuncu, Pereira and Chilwell – and nicely coincides with the fact he has conceded the fewest number of goals of any ‘keeper who has played all 1,170 minutes. It’s not exactly a shock the guy, who was the target of Palace fans’ paper aeroplanes early in the month, is now able to boast having the highest number of FPL points in that position. You now have to look back to the match against Burnley in Gameweek 9 for the last time Peter’s son had to pick the ball up from the back of his own net and the games between now and Gameweek 18 show there is a real chance for that excellent form to continue. First up will be Everton at home and with a record of only 13 scored so far this campaign, a Leicester clean sheet and the vultures sitting in the trees next to Marco Silva look more and more likely. Fast forward just three days and it’s then the turn of Watford to pay a visit to the King Power Stadium, a squad languishing at the bottom of the table, both when it comes to the league and the amount of goals. Eight scored in 13 is relegation fodder. As if those two games weren’t enough, there are then games against Aston Villa and Norwich before tougher fixtures against Man City and Liverpool that will really test their credentials. My final pick is more of a punt as Alex McCarthy has only played three games for Southampton so far this season, which happen to be the last trio of fixtures where he has collected just five points in total. However, in his defence, two of those were against Man City and Arsenal and he now has five games ahead of him which could be pivotal to the Saints calling themselves a Premier League club next August. Costing just £4.3m, he seems to be favoured over counterpart Angus Gunn and will theoretically face the aforementioned Watford this week, a team that, along with their current dire state of affairs, hasn’t beaten the Saints in the last four meetings across all competitions. Norwich then make the journey to St Mary’s for the Wednesday night tie who, funnily enough, have scored the same amount of goals as their hosts at the time of writing, as an assist in the last game is all that remains of the Pukki Party we all invited ourselves to at the start of the season. After that, ties against Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa then await. Perhaps, with Pope having those two tough games, this guy with his cheap pricetag could be your second-choice instead of the likes of the non-playing David Button, if you have a transfer that needs to be used up and £0.3m going spare? Defenders Liverpool have not had the best defensive record so far this season, quite the contrast to the last campaign when they kept 21 clean sheets. In 13 games, there have been two such occasions from the 3-0 and 1-0 wins against Burnley and Sheffield United, so the premium pricetags of those players do not seem such great value at the moment. Frustratingly, it’s been consolation or error-based goals that have been conceded, which have led FPL managers to receive the confirmation of what they had been expecting for the entirety of the match beforehand. Such inevitability has now made us all question: would we have taken on these players, had we known there’d be so few clean sheets this season? On the plus side, however, the next four games bring with them both clean sheet and goal scoring potential for the Merseysiders and so I still feel happy to recommend a player who is more than capable either end of the pitch. Andy Robertson is the second-most transferred-in player so far this gameweek, as he is beating his £0.2m-more-expensive colleague Trent Alexander-Arnold in their assists competition. Crucially for us, there is also a nine-point gap between the two players in the FPL stakes, with Virgil Van Dijk now 21 points behind. The last five fixtures have been at the centre of the left back’s points haul, as he set up three and scored one himself, netting 30 points in the process. The 30,000 people who, at the time of writing, have put their faith in him and pressed the ‘buy’ button this week are no doubt buoyed by the fact Brighton are coming to Anfield. That’s a side that has lost all seven of its last encounters with the Reds, having failed to find the back of the net in the most recent trio of fixtures. Indeed, it’s a side that Robertson likes to play against, as he has featured in all three of those games and also scored and set up another in the Seagulls’ 4-0 drubbing in the last game of the 17/18 campaign. Before you know it, the midweek Gameweek 15 fixture will come, which just happens to be a Merseyside derby against Everton, whilst Bournemouth away and a visit from Watford both carry with them great potential as they are two sides that Liverpool love to score a good few against. The Scot could well be in and among the points for all of those ties, however it is worth noting he does not have a game in Gameweek 18, as the meeting at the London Stadium against West Ham will need to be rescheduled. Following my recommendation of Kasper Schmeichel, it may come of no surprise that my next recommendation is from the same team. This one, however, bears a slight resemblance to Lord Farquaad from Shrek. Caglar Soyuncu has proven to be a shrewd signing from SC Freiburg, as Harry Maguire’s move in the opposite direction hasn’t quite had the same effect yet. Whilst his FPL scores were quite average from Gameweeks 1 to 9, the Turkish international has earned himself 34 points in the last four matches, with the goal in the 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace the icing on the cake. That has led to him leading the way in the defensive form stakes – with an impressive 9.3 – and the guy is fourth when it comes to clearances with 74. It’s no shock that his price has risen from the £4.5m it was at the start of the season to the £5.0m it is now and, should the Foxes continue to keep up their excellent form, it will only go higher. Now in 15.8 per cent of teams, no doubt because he is cheaper than his defensive counterparts of Jonny Evans at £5.1m and, most significantly, the £5.8m Ben Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira at £6.4m, the number four faces the Toffees this weekend. That’s a team which doesn’t have the greatest threat on goal as three in the last three accurately reflects their 13 in 13 over the course of the season. As you’ll have read from Kasper Schmeichel’s appraisal, Watford, Aston Villa and Norwich then make up the next trio of games, three of the current bottom six sides. Another player who follows on well from another goalkeeper suggestion is Burnley’s Charlie Taylor. Sean Dyche no doubt gave his side a rollicking at half time in their 3-0 defeat against Sheffield United and this fella came on to shore things up in the remainder of that tie. Since then, the Lancashire side has kept two clean sheets making a season-total of five – the second highest in the league, now in company with Man City and Sheffield United – and this guy presents great value at just £4.2m. Though he costs £0.8m more at the time of writing, it’s also worth mentioning James Tarkowski as the number five picked up an outstanding 17 points in the 3-0 dismantling of Watford, which also followed on from the 12 collected in the same result against West Ham before the international break. Along with the all-important ‘zero’ in the scoreline of the opponents, these tallies were also created from two assists and a goal which is about half way to what he managed in the whole of the last season. The Burnley duo’s fixtures this week and then in Gameweeks 17 to 19 are rosy, however there is a small matter of facing Man City and Spurs in-between – two teams that will definitely be looking up the league to reach their target set at the start of the campaign. Don’t let that put you off, however, especially if you can rotate your defensive line up, as the visit of Crystal Palace could make it a hat trick of clean sheets and the ties against Newcastle, Bournemouth and Everton around the same time as we hear jingle bells and tidings of joy also bring great potential. I’ll finish this section by just adding a note about John Lundstram, on the presumption that you own him. There’s a good chance you do, as his ownership is now at 43.5 per cent – a figure that has consistently increased week-on-week and is only surpassed by Tammy Abraham, who is picked by almost 51 per cent of FPL managers. In the case of the Sheffield United player, he now has more FPL points than Mo Salah, Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling! With a lot of the most popular backs theoretically having favourable fixtures this gameweek as Liverpool face Brighton, Leicester welcome Everton and Chelsea take on West Ham, it may be the case that you need to place the Blades’ number seven on your bench if you play a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation. Well, try not to worry too much about doing that, even with the assist that he managed to pick up against Man United and that 21-point haul against Burnley still fresh in the memory. Though Sheffield United have proved many doubters wrong this season, as they currently lie sixth in the table, Chris Wilder’s men do not have the best record against their opponent this weekend, Wolves. Of the past seven meetings between the two sides, they have won just one and you have to look back further to 2002 for the last time the northerners made the journey to the Midlands and came away with a win. In addition, Nuno Espírito Santo’s squad have found some great form, as 14 September was the last occasion they lost in the league. Rest assured that a look at Lundstram’s fixtures afterwards, between Gameweeks 15 and 19, will make you want him back in your starting XI. Midfielders Forgive me for starting this section with a Christmas number, but for Heung Min-Son, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Year on year, he always seems to pick up in form around the tail end of November and on the run up to Christmas. Last year, he scored one in Gameweek 13 and then proceeded to find the back of the net a whopping seven times in all competitions to see out the rest of the calendar year. Of those, six were in the Premier League, which accounted for half of his entire season. Rewind further to Christmas 2017 and it was four over the same period, which was still an impressive third of that campaign’s total. Going into Gameweek 14, the South Korean has scored four and set up six so far this season, of which he has beaten the goalkeeper in each of the last two games and assisted in three of the most recent four. If you had gone the opposite direction to the hoards of FPL managers who sold him in Gameweek 10, he would have brought you 28 points in that timeframe. Perhaps it’s not always best to follow the trends, which is, perhaps, an ironic thing to say as the number seven is the most-bought midfielder this gameweek – and by a country mile at that. At half time of the Spurs v Olympiacos match, 185,000 people – equivalent to the population of Swindon – had already seen it fit to include him in their team. Looking ahead to this weekend, Son faces Bournemouth in what will be Jose Mourinho’s first home tie in the league. I can’t speak for the Portuguese manager’s record against Eddie Howe’s men; however the South Korean’s is rather impressive, as he has scored five goals in six games against them, of which three of those have been at home. His five games against Man United admittedly haven’t produced anything; however Sheffield United showed that the Red Devils aren’t exactly the strongest at the back – especially if Phil Jones plays. Things are better against the opposition in Gameweek 16 as the 27-year-old has registered three assists in as many fixtures against Burnley. Whilst Son is leading the way on midfielder acquisitions, James Maddison is still proving to be popular as 63,000 people have brought him in – or, following on the UK town theme, the population of Kettering. In the case of the Leicester player, his popularity has existed for a longer period of time as you have to look back to Gameweek 8 for the last time more people sold him than brought him in. Those five rounds since then have seen the £7.5m player score twice and set up another, which accounts for roughly half of his season total already. Indeed, the 65 points he has to his name so far make him the highest-scoring Foxes midfielder, sitting an impressive fifth place when compared to Premier League players of the same position. Leicester have been enjoying a nice run of fixtures for a while now, as Arsenal were also easily dispatched in Gameweek 12 – thanks, in part, to a Maddison goal. As already mentioned, that run continues as Everton are next in line to try and keep the number 10 under control. He didn’t manage to do anything in the one time he has played the Toffees, where his team lost 2-1, however you’d be forgiven for predicting that both of those things could be very different this weekend as form and circumstances are poles apart. The next opponent a few days later, Watford, is a team the 23-year-old from Coventry has already scored against, which could also be a good omen. Though I have made the case for two of the most brought-in midfielders, I feel the need to also briefly mention the player most people are waving goodbye to – Raheem Sterling. The thorn in many an FPL manager’s side in the last three gameweeks, you can understand the decision for giving up as that £12m has been swallowed up in a single player who has scored just one goal and an assist in six matches. Of course, you could argue that, had the player – who is opening talks with his club over a new contract at the moment – had the goal allowed by VAR at the end of the Chelsea match, as it should have been, the number of sales could be much lower than the Black Friday levels they are at the moment. I’ll be the first to say that I have already sold him, making a very rare early transfer – something I usually don’t do and actually wouldn’t recommend – as the price changes and resultant affordability made it a necessary evil. You may also remember my last tips article which said to sell him, which turned out to be just before he only scored one point against Southampton at home. However, one thing to take into account, if you are also considering getting rid of him, is that Sergio Aguero’s injury and Gabriel Jesus theoretically starting presents an interesting fact. Of the four most recent games the 24-year-old has started with the Brazilian and not the Argentinian, he has averaged 10.8 points per match and scored five of his seven goals. That’s in stark comparison to only 3.3 points per match in the time he has started alongside Sergio. Of course, that statistic doesn’t take into account the opposition, or other factors, but it’s worth noting. Looking elsewhere within the Man City squad, Kevin de Bruyne once again showed his worth as he scored his third goal of the season in the 2-1 victory over Chelsea. Looking ahead to the trip to Newcastle, the Belgian has registered four assists and beaten the goalkeeper once in the five games he has played against them, whilst Burnley, the next opponent, also don’t like playing against him. In four meetings, they have let in one of his goals and allowed him to set up two others. Another player that FPL managers are, understandably, releasing from their side – and collecting the cash they have accrued in the process – is Mason Mount. Ahead of West Ham, Aston Villa, Everton and Bournemouth, who have conceded 23, 20, 20 and 17 goals respectively, I would suggest just giving the young lad a bit more time as much as he has just one assist in the last five games. If, by any chance, you are on a wildcard and have £0.8m going free, then perhaps instead take a look at Christian Pulisic for your Chelsea midfield coverage. Having scored 13 points in the first four gameweeks, he then failed to start a game again until that fixture away at Turf Moor where the American certainly came back with a bang. A hat trick and all three bonus points led to 20 points and an influx of purchases, as managers were then rewarded with a further 17 points over the next two matches. That puts him fifth in the midfielder form stakes and those favourable Chelsea fixtures coming up could also prove to be lucrative. Another element of my previous tips article was where I said it wouldn’t be long until Sadio Mane gets to the same price as his teammate Mo Salah. Well, that has now already happened as they each cost £12.2m and it appears the Senegalese’s value is continuing to grow, whilst the Egyptian’s sinks thanks to all the people selling him. Whilst Mane would be my preference out of the two at the moment, enjoying form of 8.2 compared to Salah’s 4.2, it is actually Mo who has a better record against Brighton, having scored thrice and set up two in four against them. Sadio, on the other hand, hasn’t yet got anything in three games against the Seagulls. As for Everton, the Gameweek 15 opposition, it’s one goal in three for the one with the beard and two in six – when playing for Liverpool – for the one with the questionable hair line. Interesting. Just a reminder, too, that they don’t have a fixture in Gameweek 18. Forwards To quote a certain Marshall Mathers, “Guess who’s back? Back again?”. Well, it’s Raul Jimenez, that’s who. Back in terms of getting into fantasy football managers’ good books, anyway. One of the most owned forwards at the start of the season, his popularity then massively waned as he blanked in five of the first seven gameweeks. The following six matches then proved to be highly beneficial for those who kept hold of him or, even more impressively, brought in the Mexican at just the right time. Over that period, he has notched up 44 points thanks to two assists and finding the back of the net four times, with the highlight being the duo of set-ups in the 2-0 victory at the Etihad. Ahead of the game against Sheffiled United, the guy – who scored what happened to be the decisive goal at the Vitality Stadium last weekend – now has eight in eight for club and country. In fact, in the 47 fixtures across all competitions since the start of 2019, he has slotted it away 25 times and set up six others. Back in my Lundstram appraisal, I mentioned Wolves have a good record against the Blades. That’s a team who managed to concede three Man United goals, resultantly moving down to a still very respectable third when it comes to the least goals scored. Another home game is then on the cards, as West Ham make the visit to the Molineux, a side that Jimenez has scored against twice in as many meetings. The next suggestion is another return for one of the favourites of last season, as Harry Kane appears to have hit some form. Sure, he seemed to look to Pochettino as a fatherly figure, however the new Dad, the Special One – sorry, you just knew that was going to be included somewhere – has brought out the best in him from the offset. Having scored one in the 3-2 victory at the London Stadium, the guy who has, so far, been brought in by 81,000 FPL managers this week then contributed a further two in the 4-2 win over Olympiacos. As you have already read, Harry’s teammate Son has a great record against Bournemouth. It turns out that the Spurs number 10 joins the number seven on that front, having scored seven and set up another for good measure in the six times he has faced the Cherries. Gameweek 15 opponents Man United, meanwhile, have a better record against the 26-year-old, as they have only conceded two in 10. Should he blank in that, however, there’s then the potential for more points versus Burnley, on the back of six goals in the last eight meetings. Here we are then, the last suggestion of this article. Well done, hold firm – you’ve already read over 4,000 words. Of course, as a finale, I couldn’t resist mentioning Jamie Vardy and, if you don’t have him already, you really should make it your priority before you lose any more ground to your league rivals. It’s no great shock that he has the best form at the moment with 10, having scored a ridiculous 58 points from the last five games. Broken down, that’s a goal in the 2-1 win against Burnley, a hat trick in that 9-0 thrashing of Southampton and then a further three in following trio of fixtures against Crystal Palace, Arsenal and Brighton. By now you will already be well-versed in the future Leicester games, thanks to my appraisals of Kasper Schmeichel, Caglar Soyuncu and James Maddison and so I’ll just say buy, keep and/or captain. Done. Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 14. This article was written by Swirly. Follow @theswirly FPL FIXTURE TRACKER FIXTURE TRACKER LINK FIXTURE TRACKER 2019/20

The post Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 14 appeared first on Fantasy Football 247 - Premier League Tips.


          

細菌で武装した蚊はデング熱を減少させる

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In a handful of cities around the world, mosquitoes have been armed with a microscopic weapon against disease. The bacterium Wolbachia pipientis blocks the insects' ability to spread fearsome viruses such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Since 2011, researchers have been injecting Wolbachia into the eggs of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and releasing the hatched insects, which spread this protection to their offspring. But they've been waiting for evidence that this approach actually reduces disease in people. Signs that it does came last week in preliminary results from several trials in tropical areas burdened with mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue. In some release areas, researchers found as much as a 76% reduction in the rate of dengue.


          

3,000 Year Old ‘Surprising Treasure’ Found in 1 Meter Shaft Revealed

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Now known as TT320, the ancient Egyptian tomb is located next to the Deir el-Bahri, in the Theban Necropolis, opposite Luxor. It is thought to have initially been the last resting ... Read more
          

Why Many Believers Miss the Miracle Power of Intercessory Prayer

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The Bible discusses intercession often throughout its many pages. When I pondered this with the glasses of kingly/priestly concepts, I came to a stark awareness that I feel is compelling.

Many people reading an article about kings think of the battles, the wealth and the power to influence for good and evil. But I believe there is even a greater power given to the kings of the earth that many have never accessed.

This power is the power of intercession. It is the ability to have God's ear and heart when you pray for those in your sphere of influence. The God of heaven and earth listens to the hearts of kings and queens. There are several biblical examples where God literally harkens to the prayer of kings and in some cases even changes world events.

There are men and women like you and me who are everyday business people. Moses, who was a prince of Egypt (public servant), turned to a professional herdsman, a king chosen by God. The 12 tribes of Israel only had one tribe that was priestly; all the others were kingly tribes.

Wow! When you understand that most of the Bible was written about the kingly, it's remarkable. We are one of the major players of God's Spirit, callings and anointings on the earth. The common marketplace people are within God's plan. The priestly role is available to support and encourage us.

I say all this as a preparation for intercession because the kings are everywhere in the Bible. They are the ones who God is depending on in the last days.

Let us look at some prime examples of God directly responding to various kings in the Bible who ventured to intercede for those in their sphere of influence. As kings, we have great intercessory authority. When we walk into this anointing, we can see miracles happen through us, not just the priestly.

How about Abraham, the father of our faith, a kingly man of God? Remember the story of Abraham's intercession for Lot in Genesis 18:22-23. It took over 11 verses to record this businessman's intercession and negotiation with the Lord not to wipe out Sodom where Lot lived. God honored Abraham by removing Lot and his wife and daughter by sending angles to get Lot out of the city. I hope you can see that when a king prays, God answers, and in this case with angels.

Moses' prayers for his people were answered on several occasions. Remember when God told Moses that He wanted to kill all of Israel and start a new tribe with Moses? Moses interceded and asked God not to kill the people. Remember the story where Aaron and Miriam grumbled against Moses? The Lord gave leprosy to them and Moses interceded on their behalf so that they might be healed. God honored his request.

How about Joshua, who prayed to make the sun stand still in Joshua 10:12-15? Joshua, who was a military man, not a seminary student, asked God to hold the sun so he could finish conquering the enemy. God heard a request of a king and honored it.

This list goes on and on about how God answers prayers of kings. Look at the life of Jesus, a carpenter, not of the tribe of Levi but a Melchizedek kingly priest. Look at the New Testament: It's chock-full of kings, fishermen, tax collectors and others having their prayers answered and seeing the miracles of God happening prior to Jesus' death.

Therefore, your occupation or place in life does not define the power of your prayers. You do not need to rely on people in the formal ministry occupation to intercede for your family, friends and society. Use the power God has bestowed on you, a king or queen, and pray with power and conviction. {eoa}

Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Ministry of Kings and Queens: From Laity to Royalty. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at heart2heart@xc.org.


          

Why the Promised Land Is Just a Prophetic Shadow of the Kingdom of Heaven

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Have you ever found yourself reading a Scripture you know or have heard many times in church, but on that particular day, its meaning becomes brand-new to you? We should always be looking for and expecting new revelation when we come to read and study God's Word. When this happens to me, I am inclined to go deeper into God's Word to see what else He wants to show me concerning the word or idea.

This article started as a prophetic word. During a Tuesday night service at the church I pastor, Crusaders Church in Chicago, I prophesied about moving into a good land. After delivering that word, I began to do a word study in the Scriptures regarding "the land"—the land of Canaan, the promised land, inheriting the land and the good land.

The good land is a picture of kingdom living—living in the glory realm and in the promises of God. The good land is God's country. It is a place where goodness, abundance, prosperity, excellence, refreshing, beauty, nourishment, blessing, satisfaction, plenty and glory are ways of life. It is the land of the finest, best and choicest of meat and grain. It is a place where we are nourished, shielded and safe. We receive abundant harvests, and all our works are fruitful in the good land. It is a place where becoming fat and large is a spiritual picture of prosperity, wealth and the anointing. I have a passion to see people live in prosperity, abundance, peace, joy and victory in the land God has promised us in Christ.

The good land is also a picture of the promised land to which God was leading the Israelites upon their exodus from Egypt. He was leading them to the physical place called Canaan. God Himself brought them into a good land, a land of milk and honey (Exod. 3:8; Num. 14:8; Deut. 31:20; Ezek. 20:15), as He promised their forefather Abraham (Gen. 12:7).

Today, God's people enter the good land through Jesus Christ, as we have now by faith become the spiritual seed of Abraham (Rom. 11:11-31). The good land is no longer a physical place but a spiritual representation of what was purchased for us by the finished work of Jesus at the cross. It is a metaphor for our spiritual inheritance in Christ and the blessings we have as a result. So now because of Christ, the saints of God dwell in this land and possess it by faith.

Our Inheritance

"Earth" in the Bible's original Greek language is ge, which literally means "land." That's a big distinction, because when you hear or read the word earth, you may think of the entire planet. But when you think of land, the concept of the physical area adjusts to mean only a portion of the planet. Of course, when God sent the Israelites in to possess the land, they were not going in to possess the entire planet. They were possessing the land of Canaan. God gave them parameters (Num. 34:1-12).

When Jesus said in Matthew 5:5 that the meek will inherit the earth, He had certain spiritual boundary lines in mind. Though the verse is commonly quoted, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Jesus did not mean the entire physical planet but a special spiritual land set aside for those who love Him, which they inherit as they come into fellowship with Him.

Several Scriptures talk about the good land. Psalm 25:13 says, "His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth [the land]." In Psalm 37, the phrase "inherit the earth" (or land) is mentioned five times (v. 9, 11, 22, 29, 34).

But the book of Psalms was written almost 1,000 years after Joshua led the people of Israel into Canaan, yet still we find several references in Psalm 37 to inheriting the land. Why is the Word of God still talking about possessing the earth?

First, I believe that all the promises of God are fulfilled in Christ. Christ is the fulfillment of all the Old Covenant promises and all the Old Covenant types and symbols. As part of the Old Covenant, God told the Israelites, "I am going to bring you into a good land. This is going to be your inheritance. This will be your possession" (see Deut. 5:31, 6:1, 26:1). But the inheritance of the physical land was something that was temporary, earthly, physical and natural. It was a type of something greater, which we find in Christ.

Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, the priesthood, the sacrifices—all these things were types and shadows of a greater reality in which the fulfillment is Christ. So when Scripture says, "The meek shall inherit the earth," it is an Old Covenant picture of what we inherit in Christ. The land is Christ; Christ is the promised land. Christ is our inheritance. So blessings, prosperity, peace, shalom, favor, land flowing with milk and honey—all these are types and symbols of what it means to live in Christ and to walk and live in the Spirit.

So many people today, especially Christians, are focused on the physical piece of land housing Israel, the Gaza Strip and Palestine, as if that is to be the focus of the kingdom. They miss the fact that the land God sent Israel into—and please catch this because you must understand types, shadows and figures in order to rightly divide the Word of God—is a natural representation of something much greater in the Spirit. Though they were sent into this physical land, we must understand that God has something much bigger in mind than just a physical piece of land. The kingdom of heaven is much bigger than that.

Receiving this broadened perspective can be a problem for some Christians whose eyes are so locked on the natural and the physical that they miss the spiritual reality of what we possess in Christ.

What we possess in Christ is a fulfillment of the picture and shadow of what the people of Israel possessed by going into a physical land. Literally, Christ is the good land. Living in the Spirit is the good land, and that is the land given to us.

Allow me to lead you through an example of how a type and shadow may be read in the Old Testament and then seen in the New Testament as fulfilled.

Deuteronomy 8:7 says, "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of valleys and hills."

What does water represent in the Bible? It represents the Spirit of God. Jesus said in John 7:38b (KJV), referring to the believer, "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." And in John 4, He said, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" (v. 14).

The good land is a picture of living a Spirit-filled life: worship, prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, discernment, tongues, interpretation, miracles. That's what we have in Christ. Life should never be boring when you have the Spirit of God flowing consistently. Your life should be full of water, full of fountains, full of depth and full of the river of God (Ps. 46:4). The water of the Spirit of God should always be flowing in your life; if you are not experiencing that, you are not living in the good land. And if you allow it, the enemy will rob you of what it means to live in the good land, to live in the blessings of the Spirit of God.

As you study all the things the people of Israel inherited, realize these are types and shadows of what you have in Christ. When Christ says, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth" (Matt. 5:5), He is not referring to something physical. He is referring to something much greater than the physical. He is referring to living in salvation, redemption, abundance, glory and shalom. This is the good land.

Blessed Are the Meek

If you are wondering who "the meek" are in Matthew 5:5, let me uncover the mystery: you are the meek. The good land is part of your inheritance in Christ. You are blessed and an heir to the land. It is yours in Christ!

My paraphrase of Isaiah 1:19 says, "The meek are humble, teachable, and able to be corrected by God. They are willing and obedient; therefore, they eat the good of the land."

When you read the phrase "blessed are the meek," know that it is all about Jesus and our restoration through salvation to His image and likeness. Jesus is a picture of the meek. In Matthew 11:29, He said He was meek and lowly in heart. He has inherited the earth in the sense that He possesses the entire world.

Psalm 2:8 (MEV) tells of the promise of the Father to the Son, who becomes the King: "Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession."

Christ's dominion is over the entire earth. Jesus is the embodiment of meekness, and when we enter into Christ, we take on all that He is; therefore, we take on His meekness. His meekness becomes part of our lives. We cannot be meek apart from Christ.

All the promises that are revealed to us through Scripture and by the Spirit of God are found and fulfilled in Christ. So blessed are the meek—blessed are those who are in Christ, the meek one—for they shall inherit the earth, or possess the land.

Appropriated by Faith

Being in Christ is more than being saved. It's more than going to heaven. It's more than just being justified. But many believers have not allowed themselves to live in the good land because of tradition, religion, fear, doubt and other people's interference. They never use their faith to appropriate the land.

When Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" (Matt. 16:15b), we are witness to Peter's revelation of who Jesus is: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (v. 16b). My desire is that people get a revelation of Christ and thereby get a revelation of the good land.

The enemy will work overtime on your mind and emotions to keep you in an exhausted and frustrated state so that you will believe the good land is for super saints and not for you. This is a lie. Like many people with potential, there may be times when you feel stuck outside of your promises because you have unconsciously partnered with the lies of hell. This is one of Satan's strategies to get you to believe his lies, to make vows and partner with him, and to empower demon spirits to wreak havoc in your life.

You may hear words such as, "Things will never work out for you." You begin to agree with the deception and speak it over yourself: "Things will never work out for me." This is the work of the enemy, and as he influences what you speak, his demons will honor your word. They understand the realm of covenant and keep you on the outskirts of the good land by sowing lies into your heart and mind. You must rise up, break those lies, renew your mind and begin to prophesy the blessings of the good land. The good land is not just for others; it is for you!

Believe what God is saying to you in this hour. I believe that by faith you can inherit the promises, rest, joy, peace, favor, glory and all the great things that belong to us as a result of inheriting the land. The land does belong to you as a child of God. It is a spiritual inheritance. It is a spiritual land that belongs to you. And you can have it by faith if you understand what the land is, what it represents and how we possess it in Christ.

I believe God wants you to live in the good land to enjoy His blessings and promises that are in Christ. The more revelation and understanding you receive, the more you confess this and believe and walk in this. Whatever your current situation is, faith will turn your whole life around. Faith will cause you to move out of a place of poverty, stress and fear, and into a place of abundance, victory and favor.

Begin to confess this and believe it, appropriating it by faith. Rise up. Come out of bondage. Come out of the wilderness. Come out of that dry place. Get into the good land and dwell there all the days of your life. {eoa}

John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries. He is an author and speaker who has ministered in more than 80 nations.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers who choose to live life in the Spirit.


          

Mike Bickle: Today's Christians Need to Become More Like This Godly Woman

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The Christmas story is a remarkable testimony of how the Father used a young lady to partner with Him in bringing His Son to the earth. It is a glorious story that reveals how He leads His people and how He wants them to respond to His leadership.

When the angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and bear the Messiah, Mary responded by trusting the Lord's leadership. God is looking for this kind of heart response in His people.

As we look at the Christmas story, we should not merely admire the nobility of Mary's choices. In fact, Mary's life is a model that can inspire us to respond rightly to God's leadership throughout our lives, especially in seasons when circumstances become difficult.

Good News

Gabriel visited Mary, saying, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" (Luke 1:28b, NKJV).

Can you imagine Gabriel appearing to you and declaring such wonderful things about your life? You would expect that being favored by God would mean you would have a life of remarkable blessed circumstances. However, the glorious promises of God that Mary received would unfold slowly through many surprising, difficult seasons. Mary would need to hold on to and remember Gabriel's encouraging words throughout her life as she carried the promises of God in her heart.

After greeting Mary, Gabriel told her she would conceive by the Holy Spirit and bear a Son, Jesus. He revealed to Mary that her Son would be great and would be called the Son of the Highest. Her Son, Jesus, would be given the throne of David and would reign forever. Gabriel was summarizing what Isaiah had prophesied hundreds of years earlier: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6).

Mary knew these prophetic Scriptures well, and now Gabriel told her she would bear the Messiah of whom they foretold. But instead of shrinking back in fear or unbelief, Mary responded to these glorious promises with a willing heart for God to do to her as He had said. She believed Him.

Gabriel's initial charge for Mary to rejoice was a practical, pastoral exhortation she would engage in for the rest of her life as she carried these promises in her heart. It was not a one-time call of exuberance to explode with joy at the possibility of what was happening. Through the troubles and misunderstandings Mary would experience, she would continually need to lay hold of the command to rejoice and trust the Lord's good leadership in her life. Choosing to rejoice in God's promises despite hardship would realign Mary's heart repeatedly in the years ahead, strengthening her to persevere and to continue to grow in faith.

Favor and Adversity

What does a life look like under the favor of God? It is easy to miss some of the unexpected hardships Mary endured for decades to come. As spoken by the angel Gabriel, Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit. God was with her, but she initially experienced tremendous amounts of shame. After being visited by Gabriel, Mary traveled 100 miles south to Judah and spent over three months with Elizabeth. When Mary returned home to Nazareth, she was visibly pregnant. This was a serious issue because she had already been engaged to Joseph.

In the ancient world, a broken engagement would require a legal divorce. If she had been with another man, Mary would have been guilty by law to be stoned. Her story was that God made her pregnant. Mary would have seemed like a bold-faced liar or so delusional that it would have been another problem. Her fiance, Joseph, was deeply troubled, and rumors were spreading throughout her community. Over 30 years later, these same rumors of Mary's fornication were still being passed around in Jerusalem (John 8:41).

Before God stepped in and told him Mary was telling the truth, Joseph was planning to break off his relationship with her. The Lord was dramatically using Mary, but she experienced intense shame and misunderstanding from those she loved most. Through it all, Mary's heart was growing in love, faith and humility.

The way we grow in mature love, faith and humility is by choosing to trust God again and again in the face of unexpected hardships and the unexpected delay of some of His promises to us. When we are perplexed and want to operate in the flesh, but instead choose to stop and say, "God, I trust Your leadership," we are realigning our hearts with His heart and promises. In believing God's promises and responding with faith and gratitude despite difficulties, we are rejoicing as Mary did. Through this process of realigning our heart even thousands of times, we slowly grow in love, faith and humility. Mary did this repeatedly throughout her life, and, as she did, she matured in her love for the Lord and in her confidence in His good leadership.

Toward the end of Mary's pregnancy, she had to make the long, intense journey to Bethlehem with Joseph for the census. After they arrived, she was ready to give birth, but there was no room for them in the inn. She went through the agony of labor in a dirty stable and then had only a manger in which to lay her beloved newborn Son. I would have thought that since the angel Gabriel told Mary God's favor was upon her and she would bear a Son who would reign forever, the circumstances around His birth would have been a bit easier. Mary had received these great promises and endured the months of intense shame, but now she did not even have a proper place to deliver and care for her Son.

Despite the difficulties and human dynamics Mary experienced, a series of supernatural events surrounded Jesus' birth. Shortly after Jesus was born, some excited shepherds showed up, looking for a baby in a manger. An angel had told them Christ the Savior had been born and was lying in a manger. The shepherds tell Mary they saw a host of angels praising God over her Son's birth. Later on, when Mary and Joseph went to dedicate Jesus in Jerusalem, two prophetic witnesses, Simeon and Anna, testified of Jesus' glorious identity. Afterward, wise men from the East brought gifts and came to worship Jesus.

After all Mary had endured since Gabriel's visit, these things confirmed the promises over Jesus' life and encouraged Mary that God was really with her. After all these glorious confirmations of the Lord's promises, I would have expected things to be a bit easier for Mary in the coming years. But although God was moving powerfully in Mary's life, the difficulties, delays and opportunities for discouragement were not over.

Not long after the Magi left, an angel visited Joseph in a dream, warning him to flee with his family to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. Imagine this. Young Mary had borne the stigma and shame of her pregnancy among her friends and relatives; now she had to temporarily flee with her family to a foreign land because the government sought to destroy her little boy. Is this what a blessed and favored life looks like? There are sometimes very unexpected challenges in the midst of fully receiving and walking out the Lord's good promises.

Things became even more difficult for Mary down the road. Joseph was still there when Jesus was 12, but Mary was widowed sometime after that. Matthew 13:55-56 says Jesus had four brothers and several sisters. What does a widowed woman do with seven or eight children in their teens and younger? In addition to experiencing the pain and trauma of losing her husband, Mary would have faced incredible pressure as a widow with so many children.

When Jesus was 30, He took six weeks off from the carpenter's shop to fast and pray in the wilderness. He returned home anointed by the Holy Spirit, and then the whole town He loved and grew up in turned against Him. He was a most reliable young man and had a phenomenal reputation; however, the elders of the synagogue were enraged by His claim to be the one of whom Isaiah prophesied. They were so angry they tried to drive Him off a cliff and kill Him (Luke 4:29).

Mary saw how her Son was so badly mistreated by the leaders of the town He grew up in, and she would have needed to realign her heart again and again in faith with the promises of God throughout His ministry. The angel Gabriel had initially told Mary that Jesus would be great (Luke 1:32). She must have struggled, wondering why the elders of His hometown were so against Him.

After Jesus began His ministry, His brothers did not believe Him (John 7:5). In essence, Mary's own children—whom she raised to honor the God of Israel—did not "believe in Jesus" even as young adults. Mary must have struggled with the spiritual condition of her sons at the time of Jesus' ministry. Some of her closest friends and family members considered Him to be mentally unstable because of the things He said and did (Mark 3:21). The top religious leaders in the nation concluded Jesus was demonized and was thus a dangerous cult leader who was deceiving the people (John 7:47, 8:48). Rumors of Jesus' mother's fornication were passed around in their attempt to discredit Him and His ministry (John 8:41).

In other words, Jesus' life and ministry did not appear to be "great" as Gabriel promised. By many standards, it seemed to be just the opposite. Again and again, Mary had to believe the promises of God and trust His good leadership.

A few years later, Mary watched her Son be rejected by the nation and die on a cross. The religious leaders plotted against Jesus, and the Jewish crowds cried out for Barabbas. Jesus' three and a half years of ministry appeared to have little fruit. He had healed many thousands, but only 120 people believed in Him enough to make it to the prayer meeting in the upper room after His Resurrection (Acts 1:15). Mary endured unexpected pain and misunderstanding as she partnered with God and trusted His leadership in her life. Now her Son's earthly ministry came to an end, and He was rejected by the nation rather than exalted as King. The promises were long in coming, and it seemed impossible for them to be fulfilled. However, Mary had trusted God from the beginning, and she persevered in trust by the grace of God even here.

Mary only saw a partial fulfillment of the promises during her lifetime. She conceived by the Holy Spirit and brought forth the Son of God into the world according to the word of the Lord given through Gabriel. However, Gabriel also told Mary that her Son would be great and reign forever. While Jesus was on the earth, He was despised by many and rejected by His brothers, His hometown and the top political and spiritual leaders of His nation. He suffered and died to bring salvation to sinners before He was raised in glory.

The complete fulfillment of the promises over His life will not be until the age to come. A day is coming when He will be seen by all as great in love, power and mercy. Mary would have seen a glimpse of this during the revivals of the early church, but the fullness is yet future.

The Heart of Mary

Mary's life is a picture of the right heart-response to the leadership of God. When she did not fully understand, she trusted God's leadership over and over again. When it seemed to cost her everything, Mary still said, "May it be unto me according to Your word" (Luke 1:38b, MEV).

Mary's trust in God and her willingness to be used by Him and "to rejoice" in Him were not a one-time response. It was her way of life. She signed up time and time again through the difficulties. She trusted God and repeatedly realigned her heart with God's word.

Rather than give up when things got hard, Mary persevered with joy by the grace of God.

Too often, we lose faith that God will fulfill His promises because we are not seeing immediate results to our prayers. Or we may conclude that our weak prayers are ineffectual. But the truth is that we offer our prayers in human weakness, but they ascend to God in power because of the sufficiency of the blood of Jesus and because they are in agreement with God's heart.

How do we demonstrate the faith of Mary even when our prayers feel weak or ineffective? Instead of measuring the effectiveness of our prayers by the results we see or the emotions we feel during a particular prayer time, we must measure it by what God says in His Word. Jesus declared in the Word that everyone who asks and keeps on asking will receive, and everyone who seeks and keeps on seeking will find (Matt. 7:7-8).

Our prayers—all of them—are heard, even if we do not feel anything when we offer them. Do not measure your prayers by how you feel when you pray them but by the extent to which they are in agreement with God's will and Word. Beloved, our weak prayer times may not move us, but they move the heart of God.

The apostle John emphasized that we can have confidence that our prayers are heard regardless of how we feel while we are praying. In 1 John 5:14, he wrote, "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us."

God assesses the activity in our lives very differently than the way we assess it with our natural minds. The fullness of the glory of our lives in Christ is hidden from our own eyes as well as from the eyes of others in this age. Yet both the glory of God and the promises made to Mary will become evident to all when Jesus appears at His Second Coming.

Colossians 3:3-4 says, "For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life shall appear, then you also shall appear with Him in glory."

The challenge is that often we do not see the glory of God in our lives. Because it is indiscernible and hidden from our emotions and our five senses, we cannot measure it. We look at our lives as small, weak and boring, and yet Jesus sees them through the lens of the riches of glory. He sees what we don't see, and that includes our prayers.

Our many small acts of obedience, including our prayers, are glorious in God's eyes. By understanding the value of our weak prayers, we are empowered to see them as relevant and powerful. Though they may seem weak according to the flesh, every prayer in God's will matters to God.

The way God led and used Mary reflects His perfect leadership. The fulfillment of God's promises is often delayed and released in stages in a context of difficulty, in order to cause us to cling to Him in a way that helps us grow in love, faith and humility.

Being used by God to change history is not the same as being mature in love. God called Mary and then brought her on a journey to grow in greater love. God unfolds His purposes in a hostile world and uses the adversity to bring forth His people in mature love, humility and partnership.

God desires to partner with those who will trust Him through everything and continually say yes to Him without quitting. Like Mary, we need to realign our hearts in agreement with the promises of God and trust His leadership even in difficulties. God's promises are still real when delay and adversity come; the Lord uses these things for our good (Rom. 8:28).

When we choose to rejoice, hold on to the promises and trust God through the challenges, He releases grace and empowers us to persevere with joy and grow in love. If we do our part and respond to Him with a willing heart, God will do His part and impart abundant grace.

READ MORE: For more stories about Christmas, visit christmas.charismamag.com.


Mike Bickle is the director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, and author of several books.

CHARISMA is the only magazine dedicated to reporting on what the Holy Spirit is doing in the lives of believers around the world. If you are thirsty for more of God's presence and His Holy Spirit, subscribe to CHARISMA and join a family of believers who choose to live life in the Spirit. CLICK HERE for a special offer.


          

Why This Psalmist Commands You to Praise—Even When You Don't Want To

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What does it really mean to be thankful? As we approach Thanksgiving, we consider the importance of living with gratitude for God's blessings.

Psalm 100 urges us to "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise." The Israelites praised God as they first entered the temple gates in Jerusalem, continuing as they walked through the courtyard. Gratitude was extended throughout their journey.

This principle of thankful living impacts us still today. We don't need to wait until a holiday. We can reflect on God's goodness to us throughout our daily actions. Even when we are stuck in traffic or standing in a line at a store, we can turn from impatience to counting God's blessings—from our salvation, to our family members, to the little ways God shows up throughout our day, our hurried moments can become holy moments as we cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

For example, even in their hardships, the first Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving with this "attitude of gratitude." A look at the first Thanksgiving prayer provides a great reminder of the holiday. History tells us that Gov. William Bradford recorded the first Thanksgiving proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth. One key phrase of his prayer declares that God "has granted us freedom to worship Him according to the dictates of our own conscience."

While many today view Thanksgiving as a holiday to eat turkey and watch football, its origin celebrated our nation's freedom to worship God. Let us all reconnect with this original Thanksgiving prayer. As we gather for the holiday with loved ones, remember to express appreciation for America's religious liberties. More than ever, we need to remember our religious freedoms—and express them! May God continue to bless America as we seek to worship Him.

Likewise, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us that it is God's will to thank God in all circumstances. No matter our situation, we know God works for our good. Why? Romans 8:28 reminds us "for those who love God all things work together for good." Joseph, for instance, was sold as a slave and a prisoner for 13 years before the Lord made him a leader in Egypt. Yet Joseph would later recognize these tragic circumstances served as part of God's plan to save the lives of many.

We may not understand the trials we face, but we can be thankful through the storms of life. God is with us and is for us despite our most difficult situations. Let's remember to thank Him in all circumstances today.

Additionally, let us also remember that Thanksgiving is more than a day of feasting. What are we really celebrating on this special day? In the classic "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" television special, Marcie reminds Charlie Brown, "Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. We should just be thankful for being together."

Can we relate? We often find ourselves focused on food, watching football or immersed in other plans, yet the real joy of the holiday is extended time together with loved ones, including our children and grandchildren. Scripture reminds us to make the most of every moment. Instead of overemphasizing food or other activities, remember the importance of time with those you love.

This life passes so quickly. Let's make sure we focus our lives on God and showing love to those around us. These special times will result in memories we will never regret. {eoa}

Sam Rohrer is president of the American Pastors Network, a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discuss today's pressing issues. He was a Pennsylvania lawmaker for 18 years and hosts the daily "Stand in the Gap Today" national radio program on more than 400 stations and is host of the "Stand in the Gap" national television program.


          

Místo chození na party sbírá hmyz. Sexy Eva Greenová tvrdí, že je odtažitá

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Francouzka Eva Greenová měla pro herectví ty nejlepší předpoklady. Její maminkou je totiž herečka a zpěvačka Marlène Jobertová. Jako malá prý Eva sice snila o kariéře egyptoložky, ale když ve čtrnácti viděla drama Příběh Adély H., ve kterém zářila Isabelle Adjani, rozhodla se, že bude jako ona.
          

Big ramy stays true to his signature look

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by Christian Duque 2018 was a very confusing year for fans of Egyptian phenom Big Ramy. In 2017, he shocked the world with a very impressive...
          

Coptic Solidarity Urges Immediate Release of Coptic Journalist, Ramy Kamel

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 NEWS PROVIDED BYCoptic Solidarity Nov. 27, 2019WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity strongly condemns the arrest of Ramy Kamel, a Coptic human rights activist and social media blogger in Egypt being falsely charged with "terrorism."Seven plainclothes officers arrested Kamel at his Cairo home in the early hours of November 23, 2019. State security personnel interrogated him for more than 12 hours. They are charging him with being a member of a " Source: Coptic Solidarity
          

Egypt unveils mummies of lion cubs, cats and crocodiles in rare find

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Discovery of lion cubs and cat mummies in Egypt sheds light on ancient animal worship.
          

Exodus Cl23 Exodus Summary (Egypt to Canaan)

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Series: Exodus Bible Class

Service: Sun Bible Study

Type: Bible Class

Speaker: Ken Chapman


          

Haythem - male - Matrouh, Egypt

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Still a medical student in Egypt. Willing to move to UK for proceeding my Owen career. I will travel back to Egypt in holidays. I have a 6 member family 3 sisters and my Dad and Mam. I love my family a lot I would die for them every hour ????????. I am a sarcastic man always smiling leaving my hard expression for the roads walk and my work. I used to work from age of 11 years old that's pretty normal here in Egypt so ????????. I am looking for a happy marriage that includes a great hearted lady that can afford being married to a foreign man who works for 16 or 18 hours of work. About my deen I consider it as the priority of being alive, if you don't follow it you better be another creature ????????. I am a conservative Muslim from a religious family, I pray the five times in there times in the mosque when I can ( Asr, Maghrib and Isha mostly). I read Quran always. Its a priority also I understand it very well so I can help other people understanding it. Finally I love Egypt very much I just can't delete it from my live so getting back to it in holiday is a must. I hope finding my lovely lady doesn't take much time.
          

MidoNasr - male - Cairo, Egypt

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Canadian egyptian now in Cairo, looking for someone down to earth
          

mariam - female - alexandra, Egypt

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i am loving lady that love to be myself and i love truth and goes straight to the poing
          

Adamo - male - Upper Egypt , Egypt

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Just normal person looking for my second part, I'm satteld down in Oman
          

Gogo. Gogo - male - Dumyat , Egypt

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Iam 45 years I have son 10 years old he is Name Ahmad I looking for marriage
          

Mohamed - male - Giza, Egypt

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Hello, 👋😊, iam mohamed and iam here to improve my english and german skills, actually don't thinking about marriage now, but if i find the right person i will do
          

Mostapha - male - Rabat, Morocco

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I am Mustafa country of origin Egypt and live in Morocco and I look forward to find my girl and travel to live with each other anywhere we choose in the world
          

Mada Masr: Egypt independent news outlet's office 'raided'

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Mada Masr: Egypt independent news outlet’s office ‘raided’ Mada Masr says laptops and phones were confiscated and three staff members briefly arrested. Read More… Fox News hosts laugh at Trump’s welcome for hero dog A hero dog was celebrated at the White House, but who did the dog like? CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports. Read More… […]

The post Mada Masr: Egypt independent news outlet's office 'raided' appeared first on Information Online.


          

New Technology Universities to Boost Egypt's Vocational Education - Al-Fanar Media

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Technical issues delay launch of Egypt’s first satellite

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CAIRO: The chief Executive of the Egyptian Space Agency, Mohamed al-Qousy announced on Saturday that the launch of the first Egyptian communication satellite TIBA-1 has been postponed indefinitely due to “technical reasons.” Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Qousy said that no new date was set for the launch, but there was a meeting on Saturday set ...

The post Technical issues delay launch of Egypt’s first satellite appeared first on .


          

Rachel Ramey, Lecturer

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Rachel Ramey joined AUIS in 2012. She was an APP instructor for five years before taking on the role of deputy director in Summer 2017. She holds a master's degree in TEFL from the American University in Cairo, and a bachelor's degree in Anthropology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining the APP team, she worked as a teacher in the U.S.
 

PUBLICATIONS

Russell, Barbara, and Rachel Ramey. 'Exploring Grammar Across Disciplines For Sustained Success'. The Proceedings Of The 20th TESOL Arabia Conference: Methods And Means In ELT. Peter McLaren. 1st ed. Dubai: TESOL Arabia, 2015.

 


          

Coptic Solidarity Urges Immediate Release of Coptic Journalist, Ramy Kamel

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 NEWS PROVIDED BYCoptic Solidarity Nov. 27, 2019WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity strongly condemns the arrest of Ramy Kamel, a Coptic human rights activist and social media blogger in Egypt being falsely charged with "terrorism."Seven plainclothes officers arrested Kamel at his Cairo home in the early hours of November 23, 2019. State security personnel interrogated him for more than 12 hours. They are charging him with being a member of a " Source: Coptic Solidarity
          

Fruit and vegetable imports from North African countries having impact on the European sector

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Spanish fruit and vegetable imports from the six southern Mediterranean countries with which the European Commission has association agreements in force (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) have all grown, except those of Lebanon, from where no fruit and vegetables have been imported.…
          

Indian onion traders still make a killing - even as imports from Egypt arrive

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At a time when consumers across the country are waiting for imported onions to ease sky-high domestic prices, some private importers have already brought in about 2,500 tonnes of Egyptian onions at the JNPT port, Mumbai, and are making a huge profit in the domestic markets. Their cost works out to Rs 26…
          

“Import of Egyptian onions has no effect on Indian domestic market”

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The soaring onion prices in India are leaving a mark on exporters in the region. The government issued a ban on onion exports, trying to push down the price on the domestic market. Onions have also been imported from other markets, like Egypt. One Indian onion exporter expresses his worry the current…
          

UK sweet potato market levelling out after a period of heavy supply

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The UK sweet potato market seems to be levelling out again after a period of heavy supply over the last few months. Ian Crispin from Pacific Produce said that there has been a lot of Egyptian and Spanish sweet potatoes in the market place with mixed quality, some good, some not so good. “Spanish supply which…
          

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HOW MOSCOW VIEWED ISRAEL AS AN AMERICAN NUCLEAR-ARMED THREAT FIFTY YEARS AGO – AN IMPORTANT INSIGHT INTO MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS OF THE TIME – AND AN IMPORTANT CLUE ABOUT ISRAEL’S COMPLEX NATURE – SOMETHING RARELY DISCUSSED IN THE WEST

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John Chuckman COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY MICHAEL WEAVER IN CHECKPOINT ASIA   “The Soviet-Israeli War 1967-1973: The Soviet Struggle vs Israel in the War of Attrition “The Soviets played a far more direct, long-lived and impactful role in the notionally Egyptian-Israeli struggle than is generally understood   https://www.checkpointasia.net/the-soviet-israeli-war-1967-1973-the-soviet-struggle-vs-israel-in-the-war-of-attrition/   “Soviet leaders not only […]
          

Sobre el dengue en San Juan; MSP ha hecho lo posible, el SNS ha fallado en el servicio.

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San Juan de la Maguana (SJM). Este medio ha investigado sobre un brote enorme de personas afectadas por la enfermedad que produce el mosquito Aedes Aegypti (Dengue), y que se ha desatado en este municipio, sin que las autoridades de acción y de servicio, llámese Servicio Nacional de Salud El Valle en San Juan, pueda ...
          

Ariane 5's Fourth Launch This Year

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Liftoff was announced at 21:23 GMT (22:23 CET, 18:23 local time) this evening from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The mission lasted about 34 minutes. TIBA-1 with a launch mass of 5600 kg, was the first to be released after about 27 minutes. The 4007 kg Inmarsat-GX5 was released 7 minutes later. TIBA-1 for broadband communications is owned and operated by the Government of Egypt. It has a design life of more than 15 years. GX5, owned and operated by Inmarsat, enhances
          

CRA keeps pace with global trends of the frequency allocation at WRC-19

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The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) participated as part of a Qatari delegation, in the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19), which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from October 28 - November 22, 2019. This conference is one of the most important conferences on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) calendar.

The agenda of the conference considered several important items, which have been included based on the proposals that were submitted by the administrations, the results of WRC-15, the report of the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) and what needs to be taken into consideration for the existing and future services. The CRA has submitted a number of contributions to the conference that are related to several topics of interest to Qatar, where the CRA contributed with 29 documents as part of the Arab Regional Group, in addition to 8 separate documents submitted on behalf of Qatar related to some vital services of interest to Qatar.

The CRA's contributions were welcomed by a large number of European and American administrations, especially that the contributions were in line with the global trends of frequency allocation that support number of modern technologiesand applications and contribute to the digital transformation and achieving one of the Sustainable Development goals; industry, innovation and infrastructure. The topics that were supported by the CRA during the conference included, identification of frequency bands for the future development of international mobile telecommunications (5G technology), including the possibility of allocating additional frequencies to the mobile service on a primary basis, High-altitude platform stations (HAPS), and issues related to Wireless Access Systems (WAS) including Radio Local Area Networks (RLANs).

The CRA also supported the use of certain frequency bands of earth stations on mobile platforms communicating with geostationary space stations in the fixed-satellite service, topics related to the meteorological-satellite service and the Earth exploration-satellite service, as well as supporting the consideration of spectrum requirements for tracking, controlling and telemetry in the space operations service for non-geostationary satellites with short duration missions.

The CRA also supported global trends towards considering the spectrum requirements and regulatory provisions related to the introduction and use of the Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS), and to take appropriate actions to facilitate global or regional harmonized frequency bands to support railway radiocommunication systems between train and trackside (RSTT) within existing mobile service allocations, in addition to considering possible global or regional harmonized frequency bands, to the maximum extent possible, for the implementation of evolving Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) under existing mobile-service allocations.

“The CRA participation in WRC-19 was extraordinary, and the CRA contributions were welcomed by many administrations, especially that CRA’s contributions all in all were converged with the global trends on many sensitive topics that were considered in the Conference. The CRA in coordination with a number of administrations has been able to fulfil the objectives that it has looking for to achieve in the Conference. All ITU Member States rely on WRC outputs to develop their National Frequency Plans in their respective countries for the coming three to four years till the next Conference,” said His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of CRA.

“The Conference has accomplished several achievements on a global level, which are important pillars that support and develop the telecommunications sector of Qatar and encourages introducing advanced and innovative technologies to meet the needs of people of Qatar. The WRC-19 resolutions included the identification of 17.5 GHz bandwidth for the deployment of 5G technology on several mobile frequency bands and 2 GHz bandwidth to be used by international airlines to provide broadband services to passengers while travelling. Also, the resolutions included the identifications of appropriate frequency bands for Nano-Satellite that contribute to academic fields and scientific research. In addition to the issuance of a resolution that provides adequate frequency bands for HAPS, which supports broadband applications that allow for faster commercial deployment of these systems at a reasonable economic cost,” he added.

It is worth to mention that the general scope of the WRC agenda is set five to six years in advance, while the ITU council set the final agenda two years before the Conference, with the concurrence of a majority of the Member States. Under the provisions of the ITU Constitution, the Conference may revise the Radio Regulations (RR), the International Treaty Governing the use of Radio-Frequency spectrum, the geostationary-satellite and non-geostationary-satellite orbits and any associated plan that is related to allocating and assigning frequencies and addressing any global issue related to radiocommunications; Radio and Radiocommunication Bureau and review their activities.

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Join the last day of Ajyal Film Festival celebrations this Saturday

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Experience magical performances and compelling feature films on the last day (23 November) of Ajyal Film Festival 2019, the annual cinema event hosted by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) at Katara Cultural Village.

As the festival curtains draws to a close, Ajyal’s Wonder & Under the Moonlight Cine-Concert will offer a unique musical show, presented by the Forum des Images, to delight young and old. A feast for all the senses, a thrilling selection of shorts about tales of the stars, sun and moon will be held at 11.30 AM at Katara Building 16 and is free to the public. Live musicians will accompany: Get the Moon by Jutta Schünemann, Sooner or Later by Jadwiga Kowalska, Lunette by Phoebe Warries, A Little Star by Svetlana Andrianova, and Little Wolf by An Vrombaut.

Ajyal Tunes got off to a rocking start yesterday with electrifying performances from Doha’s underground music scene, featuring talented youth artists Sana Zharandi, Amjad Essam, Savanna Rose, Varun, Omar Abdulaziz, Ayman Shukur, Jerin Jose, Jueun, Mothanna, and Omar Alyafai among others, curated by Qatari artist Dana Almeer. Qatar-based singer/songwriter and rapper Mvrs rounded off the show with a stirring rap performance. An exciting celebration of musical talents from every discipline, Ajyal Tunes is part of the festival’s growing artistic scope – showcasing and celebrating arts and culture from every discipline.

Don’t miss out on the last day of the Ajyal Creativity Hub and its bustling activities at Geekdom, Qatar’s largest pop-culture event presented in partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council, and ARC, Ajyal’s interactive multimedia exhibition featuring artworks by 19 of Qatar’s most promising artists and creative talents. Located in Katara Buildings 18 and 19, all performances and exhibits will remain open to the public until 10 PM.

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The Feel short film programme will explore the power of intuition in shaping our sense of the world with a curated selection of ten short films screening at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City, at 12.30 PM, including Belles étoiles (France/2017) by Naïma Di Piero and Elhadj Sidib; Like an Elephant in a China Shop (France/2017) by Louise Chevrier, Luka Fischer, Rodolphe Groshens, Marie Guillon, Estelle Martinez, Benoit Paillard, Lisa Rasasombat; Hedgehog (France/2018) by Vaibhav Keswani, Jeanne Laureau, Colombine Majou, Morgane Mattard, Kaisa Pirttinen, and Jong-ha Yoon; Maha’mel (Ships) (Qatar/2018) by Dhabya AlMuhannadi; The Stained Club (France/2018) by Mélanie Lopez, Simon Boucly, Marie Ciesielski, Alice Jaunet, Chan Stéphie Peang, Béatrice Viguier; Beit Byoot (Jordan, Qatar/2019) by Mayar Hamdan; The Unlucky Hamster (Qatar, Indonesia/2019) by Abdulaziz Mohammed Khashabi; Child of the Earth (Switzerland, USA/2018) by Claudio Fäh; The Kite (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland/2019) by Martin Smatana; and Nada Bedair’s Paper Kite (Qatar/2019).

The Overcome short film selection, screening at 3 PM at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City, is a testament to the ability of people to overcome obstacles in pursuit of their dreams. The programme includes: Layla (UK/2019) by Celine Cotran; Jolanta Bańkowska’s Story (Poland/2019); Youth (Egypt, USA/2019) by Farida Zahran; Thermostat 6 (France/2018) by Maya Av-ron, Mylène Cominotti, Marion Coudert,  Sixtine Dano; Maradona’s Legs (Germany, Palestine/2019) by Firas Khoury; Esperança (France/2019) by Cécile Rousset, Jeanne Paturle, Benjamin Serero; Fault Line (Iran/2018) by Soheil Amirsharifi; Baptiste Drapeau’s Half and Half (France/2018); The Helmet (Yemen/2019) by Osama Khaled; Memo (France/2017) by Julien Becquer, Éléna Dupressoir, Jules Durand, Viviane Guimarães, Ines Scheiber; Refuge (Qatar/2019) by Maha Essid; and Fragile (Qatar/2019) by Kholood Al-Ali.

Join the last day of Ajyal Film 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

Today is your last opportunity to watch an exciting selection of feature films:

  • For Sama (Syria, UK/2019) by Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts screening at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City at 5.30 PM. Please note that the screening is rated PG-18.
  • Ailo’s Journey (France, Finland/2018) by Guillaume Maidatchevsky will screen at Novo Cinemas, the Pearl, at 5.30 PM.
  • DFI-supported feature Bombay Rose (India, France, UK, Qatar/2019) by Gitanjali Rao screeening at 8.30 PM at Novo Cinemas, the Pearl. Please note that the screening is rated PG-18.
  • DFI-supported film You Will Die at Twenty (Sudan, France, Egypt, Germany, Norway, Qatar/2019) by Amjad Abu Alala will screen at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City at 8.30 PM and is rated PG-15.
  • Honeyland (North Macedonia/2019) by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska will screen at 6 PM at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City.

Tickets for the 7th Ajyal Film Festival are available for purchase at the Ajyal Main Box Office located in Katara Building 10; at the Ajyal Box Office at VOX Cinemas Doha Festival City for screenings taking place at VOX Cinemas; and from the Novo Cinemas Box Office for screenings at Novo Cinemas, the Pearl. For ticket purchase and up-to-date information on the Ajyal Film Festival, please visit: https://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival/ticketinformation https://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival/films

2019 Ajyal Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Katara Cultural Village – Cultural Partner; Qatar National Tourism Council – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas, Ooredoo – Strategic Partner, St. Regis Doha - Signature Partner.

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Bleed Green t-shirts

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Celtics Life has been using the slogan and hashtag Bleed Green since we originated in 2009. We first brought you two KG Bleed Green options back then and introduced another one in 2016. Adding to the collection we are now offering a new super slick black version this Thanksgiving Day.



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John and Cooper repping the C's and Bleeding Green from the Giza Pyramids in Egypt!




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Memory: The Origins of Alien

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In 2019, Ridley Scott&8217;s Alien celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its theatrical release. Memory reveals the chilling, untold origins of Ridley Scott&8217;s cinematic masterpiece Alien, rooted in Greek and Egyptian mythology, underground comics, parasitology, H.P. Lovecraft&8217;s weird fiction, the art of Francis Bacon, and the symbiotic genius of Dan O&8217;Bannon (writer), H.R. Giger (designer), and, of course, Ridley Scott. Uncovering a treasure trove of unreleased materials from the O&8217;Bannon and Giger estates, MEMORY boldly goes where no film essay has gone before, to deliver an entrancingly cinematic and wholly original take on one of Hollywood&8217;s most beloved and iconic shockers.

Release date: 04 Dec, 2019

Country of origin: United States
Languages: English
Runtime: 95.0 mins
Format: DVD,

Catalogue: MMA6423
          

الان فتح باب التقديم بأكاديمية مصر للطيران لكليات هندسة وزراعة وتجاره وحقوق والأداب والسياحة بداية من 1-12-2019

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تعلن أكاديمية مصر للطيران للتدريب عن فتح باب التسجيل للطلبة للتدريب العملي في شركة مصر للطيران لعدد من التخصصات وذلك بالتواجد فى أماكن العمل لإكتساب الخبرات المناسبة فى شتى المجالات وطبقاً لتخصص المتدربين ولمدة أربعة أسابيع.
• يبدأ التسجيل للتدريب من يوم الأحد 1/12/2019 الساعة 9 صباحاً و حتى يوم الثلاثاء 3/12/2019 الساعة 9 مساءً.
• التسجيل عن طريق الموقع الالكتروني الرسمي لأكاديمية مصر للطيران للتدريب على الرابط التالي:
• التسجيل لمرة واحدة فقط في الموسم الواحد.
• طلبة السنة النهائية يتم تسجيلهم كطلبة وليس خريجين.
:: متابعة جروب الوظائف الحكومه والخاصة :: من هنا ::
:: إنشاء وإرسال سيرتك الذاتية لكبرى شركات التوظيف :: من هنا ::


• البريد الخاص بـ Facebook لا يصلح للتسجيل، لذلك يرجى استخدام بريد الكتروني فعّال لاتمام عملية التسجيل، .
• سيتم التواصل من خلال البريد الإلكتروني (etcwebsite@egyptair.com) – رجاء إضافة هذا البريد الالكتروني لقائمة العناوين الخاصة بك لضمان وصول الرسائل بصورة طبيعية.
• قد لا يمكننا تدريب كل الطلبة المتقدمين حيث أن التدريب يتم طبقا للأماكن المتاحة لكل تخصص.
• سيتم التواصل بالمتقدمين المقبولين فقط وذلك خلال الموسم التدريبي – لذلك رجاء الاستعداد بالأوراق المطلوبة حيث يمكن أن تصلك رسالة القبول في أي وقت.
• رسوم التدريب للطلبة 200 جنيه مصري لمدة 4 أسابيع
• رسوم التدريب للخريجين 30 جنيه مصري / يوم - التخصصات النظرية
لمزيد من التفاصيل ومعرفة التخصصات المتاحة على الرابط التالي:
:: متابعة جروب الوظائف الحكومه والخاصة :: من هنا ::
:: إنشاء وإرسال سيرتك الذاتية لكبرى شركات التوظيف :: من هنا ::


          

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Fast Facts

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View CNN's Fast Facts to learn more about the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

          

Court sentences 7 to death over deadly police attack

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An Egyptian court on Monday convicted seven people to death on charges of killing a police officer and seven other policemen in an attack in southern Cairo. The Cairo Criminal Court also sentenced three co-defendants to 15 years and 15 others to 10 years in prison. It acquitted seven other defendants. All the verdicts can […]

The post Court sentences 7 to death over deadly police attack appeared first on TheNewsGuru.


          

Egypte Passion Francaise Robert

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Egypte Passion Francaise Robert
          

Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran

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Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran(Bloomberg) -- An expanded soccer tournament, a direct flight, clandestine meetings and a pledge to release prisoners of war; diplomacy is breaking out as Gulf Arab nations back away from a Donald Trump-inspired confrontation with Iran. And the signs are everywhere.Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain played their first games of the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar after a last-minute decision to take part -- an apparent breakthrough in a 30-month feud that saw them halt trade and flights over Qatar’s links with Iran and support for Islamist groups.Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition that’s fought Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015 began releasing jailed Houthis, as efforts to end the conflict gather momentum. Oman is quietly hosting high-level meetings, according to people familiar with the matter, and even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hinted at direct channels with the U.A.E.Spooked by the prospect of a catastrophic war with Iran and its proxy militias across the region, Gulf monarchies are in the midst of a strategic rethink. The U.A.E., whose economic model relies in large part on its international links, quickly realized it had most to lose from a military escalation. It had removed most of its troops from Yemen by the end of a turbulent summer that saw oil tankers targeted and a U.S. drone downed in the Gulf without significant American response.While the humanitarian catastrophe unleashed by the Yemen war trained an unwelcome spotlight on Saudi Arabia, it took a brazen strike on Saudi oil installations -- which knocked out half the country’s crude production -- to ram home the risks and prove that Trump was not about to ride to his allies’ rescue.“The attacks shattered any illusion of this magical U.S. security umbrella,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor at King’s College London who studies the Gulf. “It burst the bubble and showed that Iran had the willingness to both do something astonishing like the attack on Aramco facilities and the capability to carry it out.”Iran denies U.S. and Saudi assertions it carried out the Sept. 14 strikes, pointing to Houthi claims of responsibility. But people familiar with investigations into the attacks say they were almost certainly launched from southwestern Iran -- an explosive escalation in Tehran’s pushback against an economic offensive unleashed by Trump and enthusiastically backed by the Saudis.The Trump administration withdrew last year from the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its oil exports. But the “maximum pressure” policy is designed to coax Tehran into more concessions not to drag the U.S. into a new Middle East war just as it draws down troops in Syria.Rolling back Shiite Muslim Iran’s power remains a priority for the Sunni Gulf Arab leadership. There’s an increasing recognition, however, that no one stands to gain from a military escalation in the world’s top oil-exporting region.Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. The U.A.E. declined to comment. But in a Nov. 10 speech, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said he saw “a path to a deal with Iran that all parties might soon” be ready to embark on if Tehran demonstrated commitment.War to ‘Cold Peace’In search of a breakthrough, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer elected with the backing of a powerful army that provides extensive support for the Saudi military, shuttled between Tehran and Riyadh in October. He met Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, as well as Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, describing talks as “encouraging.”Khan said he traveled at the request of Trump and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the diplomacy wasn’t prompted by the kingdom. But deepening unease in the Gulf catalyzed the effort.Turning these overtures into lasting peace between countries that have grown further apart since the 1979 Iranian revolution remains far off.The Gulf states resent Iran’s deep reach into Arab nations. While ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon suggest Iran has reached the limit of its regional influence, they are unlikely to reverse political and military advances decades in the making.“Cold peace is possible but we are certainly far from a grand bargain,” said Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins. “For that, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would have to accept a role for Iran in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.”As they explore ways forward, Gulf states are moving at different speeds.The U.A.E. broke with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia by not naming Iran as the culprit behind attacks in May and June on oil tankers as they sailed toward the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s foremost oil shipping chokepoint.It sent coast guard officials to Iran for the first time in six years and Rouhani hinted at other meetings with senior U.A.E. officials. “We’re moving toward improved relations,” he said Oct. 14. Saudi Arabia is catching up.Washington built a multilateral naval operation to protect shipping in the Gulf after the attacks and sent more troops to Saudi Arabia. Both actions resulted in a “down tick” in Iranian actions,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Nov. 13. “The Iranians should not mistake our restraint for weakness.”Where the U.S. holds back, however, others are crowding in. Besides his role in saving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has forged a partnership with Iran, created an oil alliance with Saudi Arabia and built ties with Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who was warned by the U.S. last month against plans to purchase Russian jets.Putin traveled to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. in October after visits by the Saudi king and the U.A.E.’s de-facto leader Mohammad bin Zayed to Moscow. The two Gulf countries and Russia have signed deals valued at billions of dollars.For Iran’s Rouhani, the case for regional engagement is obvious.“Don’t you know that Iran is going to stay here and we will remain neighbors throughout history?” he has said, referring to Iran’s Arab neighbors. “Trump will only be around for a few years and will go back to whatever it was he was doing.”\--With assistance from Golnar Motevalli and Glen Carey.To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

Inbound tour manager

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مستوى الخبرة: إدارة عليا/تنفيذي, نوع العمل: دوام كامل, المستوى التعليمي: بكالوريوس, نوع المُعلن: باحث عن عمل,
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Long-Hidden 3D Scan of Ancient Egyptian Nefertiti Bust Finally Revealed

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The "Bust of Nefertiti" was scanned years ago by the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection in Berlin, but the scan was not previously available.
          

Two Lion Cub Mummies Discovered in Egypt for the First Time

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Two mummified lions, dating back about 2,600 years, have been discovered in a tomb full of cat statues and cat mummies in Saqqara, in Egypt.
          

Literary legend haunts Cairo’s alleyways

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Naguib Mahfouz won the Nobel Prize for bringing those winding lanes in the Egyptian capital to life in vivid prose


          

Safety gear (gloves-knee & elbow guard - brake disc lock)

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الحالة: جديد, السعر: 1,250 ج.م,
-Biker code safety gloves (used) Egypt
-Brake disc safety lock (brand new) Egypt
-Scoyco knee and elbow safety guard (brand new) USA https://www.olx.com.eg/ad/safety-gear-gloves-knee-elbow-guard-brake-disc-lock-IDaajWP.html
          

Most of them will pick up when you say don’t give me that cone

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as partial government shutdown heads into day 6

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Weekly What To Do: Happy Thanksgiving Weekend

 Cache   
Thanksgiving time! Enjoy a movie with friends and family or just remember the horrible messed-up violence after with Akira.

PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES
Wed, Nov 27, 7:30pm
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
$

On the road heading home for Thanksgiving, businessman Steve Martin meets an obnoxious chatterbox (John Candy), and the two opposites get stuck together as Murphy’s Law affects every attempt they make to reach their destinations.

SINGIN' IN THE RAIN
Fri, Nov 29, 7:30pm
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
$

On a short list of the greatest screen musicals ever made, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN began with legendary MGM producer Arthur Freed giving screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green a stack of songs he'd written early in his career (with partner Nacio Herb Brown) - including "Broadway Melody," "You Are My Lucky Star" and the title song - with the simple request to weave a story around the numbers.

Queen Mary Christmas
Select dates starting November 29, 2019 through January 1, 2020
The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA.,90802

General Admission is $22 for children and $29 for adults. 
+ parking, separate cost

Embark on an immersive holiday adventure through the outdoor North Pole Village for live entertainment, ice skating at the True North Ice Rink, and holiday beverages and treats at the Making Spirits Bright Bar and the rink-side Lodge. Climb aboard the ship to experience a vintage rush of holiday joy and stroll through the tree-lined decks to find Mrs. C reading stories to little ones and Ol’ Saint Nick hosting meet-and-greets in his Captain’s Quarters, amongst strolling performers and more. The Winter Wharf onboard the ship will feature stocking decorating, gingerbread house making, and insta-worthy photo opportunities.


Grand Opening Day!
Friday, November 29, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Bob Baker Marionette Theater
4949 York Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90042
Free

A ribbon cutting by special guests and opening ceremony will kick off the day at 10am, with puppet shows on the hour beginning at 11am. The six puppet shows throughout the day will celebrate and explore the six decades that the Bob Baker Marionette Theater has been delighting kids of all ages. Surprise guests will introduce each decade and share the stories and history from the Theater over the years. Additional exhibits, activities, and walk-around puppets will occur throughout the day, with historic Bob Baker photography and a virtual reality Bob Baker experience next door at our neighbors, MorYork.

Chopping Mall & Phantom of the Mall in 35mm: Black Friday
Friday, November 29, 7:30 PM – 11 PM
Cinematic Void
6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90028
$12
Shopping to you drop as Cinematic Void takes you back to the mall this Black Friday with Chopping Mall (aka Killbots) and Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge, both in 35mm.

SATIRICAL CINEMA: Using Comedy to Undermine Hate
- Free Triple Feature!
Sat, November 30, 2019
3:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Free
In THE GREAT DICTATOR, Charlie Chaplin skewers Adolph Hitler. In THE PRODUCERS, Broadway producers Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder hope to stage a flop called “Springtime for Hitler.” In World War II satire JOJO RABBIT, the blind nationalism of a German boy (Roman Griffin Davis) and his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), is challenged when the boy's mother (Scarlett Johansson) hides a Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy
Sat, Nov 30, 1:00pm
Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
$15

If your family's not gonna appreciate you a wizard and some tiny half-lings will.





Unique Markets Holiday Pop-Up: DTLA
Nov 30-Dec 1
Hudson Loft
1200 S Hope St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
$15

"Unique Markets is taking over DTLA's historic Hudson Loft for two fabulous floors of holiday shopping! Attendees will have the chance to shop over 100 of the best independent designers and emerging brands while exploring the building's stunning architecture.

Always an immersive experience, there will be festive-freebies such as holiday portraits with Oh Snap Studios, drinks from Califia Farms, Revive Kombucha and Harmless Harvest, and snacks from CLIF Bar. The holiday market will also showcase interactive art and photo experiences, live DJs, free gift-wrapping stations, and screenprinting from Constant Contact, with a special live portrait-drawing experience from Society 6. Come experience the creativity and meet the designers and business owners of your favorite local brands in-person"

LA Kings Holiday Ice
November 30, 2019 - January 12, 2020
LA Live
Individual General Admission (L.A. LIVE): $22
Kids Age 6 and Under: $17
Seniors 62 and over: $17
Military (up to 4 guests) with ID: $17

The annual LA Kings Holiday Ice presented by Coca-Cola brings outdoor ice skating to L.A. LIVE's Xbox Plaza! The LA Kings Holiday Ice Rink presented by Coca-Cola will be open November 30, 2019 - January 12, 2020*. Skate your way into the holiday season! The ice rink is only here for a limited time, so don't miss out on this fun family activity, romantic date night, or a fun way to pass the time before and after a sports game or concert!

Alex Film Society Presents
22nd Annual The Three Stooges
Big Screen Event!
Saturday, November 30, 2019 – 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm
Alex Theatre
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
$17

Celebrating 22 years of Stooge madness, the theme is ‘Fresh Pandemonium’ – featuring shorts we’ve not previously shown in the past 21 years.Stooge family in attendance. Lots of Raffle baskets filled with Stooge goodies from C3 Entertainment.

Screening of anime classic AKIRA (1988)
Sat, Nov 30, 2019, 11:59 PM
Vista Theatre
4473 Sunset Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

$12.75 – $99

One of the last chances to see Akira on the big screen. The Akira Special Screening we posted on about a week ago already sold out. Its also makes it your third chance to see Akira in two weeks.


"SPECIAL NOTE: This is part of a Japanese anime series we’re doing for our Winter 2020 season. AKIRA actually gets removed from rep theater circulation on 12/1/19 indefinitely. So if you want to see AKIRA in a movie theater, this may be your last chance for a while"

Jackalope Underground DTLA
Saturday, November 30th & Sunday,
December 1st, 2019 from 11am to 7pm daily
Grand Central Market, DTLA
308 S. Hill Street, Los Angeles CA
Free

Shoppers can expect to find trendsetting indie goods including original fashion and jewelry design, paper goods, innovative home decor and housewares, art, photography, food, plus much more. 

Hollywood Christmas Parade 2019
Sunday, Dec 1, 6 PM
Hollywood Boulevard, along the stree
Free
* Bring a sweater, suppose to be cold that night

It's our own short and sweet parade for Christmas. Spend a few hours checking it out and be bitter it's in no way as big as Macy's. But just chill, because it's still not NYC here. Fun for the whole family and you smack dab in them middle of Hollywood for other sights.


Dark Delicacies 25th Anniversary Party
Sunday, Dec 1, 11 AM – 6 PM
Dark Delicacies
822 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank, California 91505
Not really sure of festiveness.
Kicking off our 25th Anniversary Month! Lots of surprises!Loads of full posters to give-a-way... Drawings for prizes $25 surprise boxes & $15 surprise pails for kids to benefit "Wildlife Care of Southern California"



Dumpling & Associates Pop-Up
Dec 3rd, 2019 - Mar 5th, 2020
Tue - Sun, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
ROW DTLA 777 Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
$25 early bird
$32


Whether a ravioli, a pierogi or a traditional xiaolongbao, dumplings are a religious experience for foodies. Although they are delicious on their own, they are much better with all the “associates” that come with them — think garlic or spicy dipping sauce. Upon entering this 14-room experience, guests will be met with whimsical art installations inspired by traditional dumpling associates. The exhibition will bring you on an interactive journey of how a dumpling comes to be, including the Garlic Swing (think Miley’s Wrecking Ball), the Mr. Dum-bling Bling room and the Dumpling Jacuzzi. The result is a uniquely instagrammable and delicious experience that fully immerses attendees into this culinary canon.

In Fabric
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2:00 P.M.
3131 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.

A lonely woman (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), recently separated from her husband, visits a bewitching London department store in search of a dress that will transform her life. She’s fitted with a perfectly flattering, artery-red gown—which, in time, will come to unleash a malevolent curse and unstoppable evil, threatening everyone who comes into its path.

From acclaimed horror director Peter Strickland (the singular auteur behind the sumptuous sadomasochistic romance The Duke of Burgundy and auditory giallo-homage Berberian Sound Studio) comes a truly nightmarish film, at turns frightening, seductive, and darkly humorous. Channeling voyeuristic fantasies of high fashion and bloodshed, In Fabric is Strickland’s most twisted and brilliantly original vision yet.
          

Weekly What To Do: Dcon, LA Auto Show & More

 Cache   
Looks like holiday shopping is in full effect this weekend. We also have some great conventions this weekend with both DesignerCon, which we've been covering for years, alongside the LA Auto Show, covered over the years too. Both are gonna fill your phones with photos.

Winterlit
Now through Jan 20
Winterlit Signature Events and Holiday Market located on Third Street Promenade.
Ice is located on the corner of Fifth Street and Arizona Avenue at 1324 Fifth St.
Santa Monica Place events are located at 395 Santa Monica Place.
Free or priced by activity or event

Celebrate the holiday spirit with family and friends all winter long with festive attractions, special appearances by Santa Claus and more. Opening November 1, skate into the holidays with Ice at Santa Monica, presented by Plaza at Santa Monica, complete with an 8,000-square-foot real ice-skating rink. Stroll down Third Street Promenade under the glow of thousands of colorful, festive lights and décor and enjoy Winterlit signature events including the official City of Santa Monica Tree Lighting Ceremony, and nightly menorah lightings to welcome the holidays with your loved ones.

Annual Tree Lighting & Cocoa Concert
Thursday, November 21, 6:30 p.m.
Union Station - South Patio
Free

Union Station will become a hub for the holidays as it summons the sights and sounds of the season with the Annual Tree Lighting under the stars … and snow on the station’s south patio, accompanied by performances from the Grand Arts Chamber Singers, The Beverly Belles and the Toy Soldiers Drumline.

Cinema Italian Style 2019 
November 21 - 24
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
$

Join us at the Aero Theatre for our annual celebration of Italian cinema! The 15th edition of Cinema Italian Style includes critically acclaimed dramas, big-budget blockbusters, intimate films with indie budgets, bittersweet comedies and more.




DCon
VIP Night | November 22, 5pm - 9pm
General Entry | November 23, 10am - 7pm
General Entry | November 24, 10am - 6pM
Anaheim Convention Center
800 W. Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802

*Our top pick for the weekend
Very soon, it'll be DesignerCon or simply put DCon, the annual hard to classify with a simple name convention, but essentially all the cool stuff you're older brother has in his room will be there. (It's a designer toy convention with a lot of pop art.) It also devoted to toys, pins, art prints, plushies and designer clothes.

There's special events to check out, here's more info.





2019 LA Auto Show
Fri, 22 Nov 2019 – Sun, 1 Dec 2019
LA Convention Center
1201 S. Figueroa
LA, CA 90015
$6 – $35

"Hundreds of thousands cruise to the Convention Center for LA's massive yearly car show, featuring concept cars, vehicle debuts, custom whips & free test drives."
- LEGO Bugatti Chiron, that actually drives.

FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR
Fri, Nov 22, 7:30pm
Egyptian Theatre 6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028
$

Discussion following with director Randal Kleiser; actors Joey Cramer, Howard Hesseman and Raymond Forchion; producers Jonathan Sanger and Dimitri Villard; and digital effects supervisor Jeff Kleiser.

David Freeman (Joey Cramer) is an ordinary boy destined for a most extraordinary adventure aboard a spectacular, futuristic spacecraft. After a mystifying disappearance, David returns, possessing vast, undiscovered knowledge about the farthest reaches of the universe.

Friday's Book Launch+ Friendsgiving Dinner
Friday, Nov. 22, 7-9PM
Presentation by Clark Thenhaus: 7:30PM
 Lately Restaurant @ Mandarin Plaza
970 N. Broadway #114, Los Angeles, CA 9001

Join us for delicious comfort food by chef Emmanual Johnson, as architect Clark Thenhaus shares his new interpretations of American residential architecture. The event is free and open to the public. Alongside Thenhaus' books, a select dinner menu inspired by Thanksgiving traditions will be available for order.

Rice Lecture & Tasting
Sat, Nov 23, 2pm or 4pm
JAPAN HOUSE Salon, Level 5
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Free, Must RSVP

*Yes, really a rice tasting

Since 1971, the Japan Grain Inspection Association has conducted rice taste sensory tests on a national scale, ranking each regional variant through rigorous scientific assessment to determine the best tasting rice every year. (*) This workshop features a lecture led by the National Agricultural Research Organization of Japan (NARO) in which participants will learn about Japanese short-grain rice and its regional variants, and the best way to cook rice and how to pair side dishes to complement its flavor.
Following the lecture, participants will join in a professional-level sensory test of rice, sampling four types of cooked white rice. Participants will also receive a souvenir as a small token of appreciation to take home.

Renegade Craft Fair Los Angeles
Nov 23-24
Los Angeles State Historic Park
Free

Trendy, pricey stuff with artisnial or organic in the name, it's so LA, it's crazy

35mm screening of Ben Stiller's TROPIC THUNDER
Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 11:59 PM
Vista Theatre
4473 Sunset Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027


          

3 wooden coffins unearthed in Egypt’s Luxor

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"The three coffins date back to the 18th Dynasty, and are in a good condition of preservation," said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the ministry's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

The post 3 wooden coffins unearthed in Egypt’s Luxor appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

UNICEF celebrates 30th Convention on the Rights of the Child by turning Pyramids blue

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The event witnessed joining the global movement “Go Blue for every child” by turning the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khufu, a wonder of the Ancient and the Modern times, into blue as a symbolic stand for child rights.

The post UNICEF celebrates 30th Convention on the Rights of the Child by turning Pyramids blue appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

Dawwie: a women’s empowerment initiative through cultural activities

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This imitative is all about developing skills of girls to empower them in the society, especially for those in villages, says UNICEF Representative in Egypt

The post Dawwie: a women’s empowerment initiative through cultural activities appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

Art D’Égypte takes part in 11th Abu Dhabi Art

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This is the kind of support that arts need. It’s a collective effort, and the outcome has been amazing, says Art D'Égypte executive director

The post Art D’Égypte takes part in 11th Abu Dhabi Art appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

Sesame Street launches Arabic show dedicated to refugee children in Middle East

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The show is planned to be screened in 2020, under the name of Ahlan Simsim (Welcome Sesame). The planned input is to tackle the main issues facing displaced children in their daily life, as well as educational content.

The post Sesame Street launches Arabic show dedicated to refugee children in Middle East appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

Ish Al-Aragoz Festival aims to revive Egypt’s heritage

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The five-day independent festival was dedicated to celebrate 1st anniversary of UNESCO’s recognition of Al-Aragoz, commemorating late veteran puppeteers

The post Ish Al-Aragoz Festival aims to revive Egypt’s heritage appeared first on Daily News Egypt.


          

By: Sartenada

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Hello. What an awesome list. I am glad that you knew this one: Mika Waltari: The Egyptian. it inspired us to take a cruise on the Nile few years ago and to compare of modern life and of the time of Sinuhe. Result was amazing. Thank you for this fantastic post. Have a good day!
          

Lettre économique d'Egypte : n°102 - décembre 2019

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L'éditorial de Jérôme Baconin, conseiller économique de l'ambassade de France en Égypte :

- Actualités de l'Ambassade /
Source : La France en Égypte (https://eg.ambafrance.org)
          

Egypte – point presse de la porte-parole du MEAE (25 novembre 2019)

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La porte-parole du Ministère de l'Europe et des Affaires étrangères a répondu le 25 novembre à la question suivante au sujet de l'Egypte :

- Actualités diplomatiques /
Source : La France en Égypte (https://eg.ambafrance.org)
          

Visite officielle de la secrétaire générale du Sommet Afrique-France 2020 en Egypte (5-7 Novembre 2019)

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Du 5 au 7 novembre, M. Stéphanie Rivoal, Secrétaire générale du Sommet Afrique France 2020 sur le thème de la « Ville durable » était en visite officielle au Caire.

- Actualités de l'Ambassade /
Source : La France en Égypte (https://eg.ambafrance.org)
          

Commentaires sur Macron prépare une chaîne Arte bis franco-algérienne payée par la France : pour défendre l’Algérie du FLN ? par MEDHIAPARTHEiDiSLAMIQUE

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Comme si Europe1 (Qatar), Euronews (Egypte), Arté (Iran), FranceTVinfo (Maghreb) ne suffisaient pas!
          

احصل على ترجمتك وأنت في بيتك أو عملك أون لاين – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/translators/ad/18162652
          

ابحث عن وظيفة امين مستودعات – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/store-keepers/ad/14715700
          

متوفر مهندس ميكانيكا خبره في مجال الصيانه والانتاج… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/engineering/ad/16113153
          

طباخيين في كافة التخصصات من مختلف الجنسيات جاهزين… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/cooks/ad/16131834
          

يوجد مهندس معماري خبره 12 سنه في تصميم الفلل والعم… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/engineering/ad/16148793
          

اعمال كشف عن اماكن حديد التسليح بالمباني القديمة و… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/engineering/ad/16988442
          

معلم رياضيات مصري – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/teaching/ad/17800697
          

مطلوب مندوب مبيعات سنترالات – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/delegates/ad/17928938
          

مبيعات وتسويق في الرياض – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/marketing/ad/18014687
          

مدرس لغة عربية لجميع المراحل وللجامعة ٠٥٣٨٣٠٣٥٦٢ – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/teaching/ad/17502454
          

مدرس متابعةوتأسيس للمرحلة الابتدائيةشمال الرياض – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/teaching/ad/15688827
          

يتوفر معلمين بيتزا ومعجنات خبره في اكبر المطاعم يب… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/hospitality-and-restaurants/ad/16104304
          

يوجد سائق خاص يحمل رخصه سعوديه يبحث عن عمل – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/drivers/ad/16119551
          

يوجد مترجم من الانجليزيه الي العربيه والعكس يبحث ع… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/translators/ad/16067487
          

مطلوب موظفة استقبال للعمل لدى مجمع طبي شمال الرياض – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/reception-staff/ad/18043260
          

سايق خاص منزلي ابحث عن عمل خبره سبع سنوات بالرياض – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/drivers/ad/18228589
          

رئيس حسابات/0509242078 – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/management/ad/18153211
          

مدير مالية و حسابات/0509242078 – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/management/ad/18181333
          

سوداني توصيل دوامات ومشاوير – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/drivers/ad/17843512
          

طباخه مصريه خبره اكثر من عشرة سنوات تجيد الطبخ الخ… – بيزات

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https://www.bezaat.com/egypt/cairo/jobs/maid-or-servant/ad/16107109
          

Leviticus 19:33-34 (27.11.19)

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Leviticus 19:33-34 33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Knowing what it is like to be ‘the stranger’ means we […]
          

EgyptAir запустила первый прямой рейс из Каира до Ханчжоу на востоке Китая

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Запущен первый прямой рейс из столицы Египта города Каира до города Ханчжоу на востоке Китая, сообщает агентство Синьхуа. Первый рейс вылетел из Международного аэропорта Каира в 2:00 по местному времени 29 ноября. Рейс номер был запущен авиакомпанией EgyptAir. Перелет между городами занял 11 часов...
          

StarQuest Headlines for the week ending November 22, 2019

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Headlines for the week ending November 22, 2019:

The post StarQuest Headlines for the week ending November 22, 2019 appeared first on SQPN.com.


          

Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran

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Taken to Brink by Trump, Gulf States Are Backpedaling on Iran(Bloomberg) -- An expanded soccer tournament, a direct flight, clandestine meetings and a pledge to release prisoners of war; diplomacy is breaking out as Gulf Arab nations back away from a Donald Trump-inspired confrontation with Iran. And the signs are everywhere.Last week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain played their first games of the 2019 Arabian Gulf Cup in Qatar after a last-minute decision to take part -- an apparent breakthrough in a 30-month feud that saw them halt trade and flights over Qatar’s links with Iran and support for Islamist groups.Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition that’s fought Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015 began releasing jailed Houthis, as efforts to end the conflict gather momentum. Oman is quietly hosting high-level meetings, according to people familiar with the matter, and even Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hinted at direct channels with the U.A.E.Spooked by the prospect of a catastrophic war with Iran and its proxy militias across the region, Gulf monarchies are in the midst of a strategic rethink. The U.A.E., whose economic model relies in large part on its international links, quickly realized it had most to lose from a military escalation. It had removed most of its troops from Yemen by the end of a turbulent summer that saw oil tankers targeted and a U.S. drone downed in the Gulf without significant American response.While the humanitarian catastrophe unleashed by the Yemen war trained an unwelcome spotlight on Saudi Arabia, it took a brazen strike on Saudi oil installations -- which knocked out half the country’s crude production -- to ram home the risks and prove that Trump was not about to ride to his allies’ rescue.“The attacks shattered any illusion of this magical U.S. security umbrella,” said David Roberts, an assistant professor at King’s College London who studies the Gulf. “It burst the bubble and showed that Iran had the willingness to both do something astonishing like the attack on Aramco facilities and the capability to carry it out.”Iran denies U.S. and Saudi assertions it carried out the Sept. 14 strikes, pointing to Houthi claims of responsibility. But people familiar with investigations into the attacks say they were almost certainly launched from southwestern Iran -- an explosive escalation in Tehran’s pushback against an economic offensive unleashed by Trump and enthusiastically backed by the Saudis.The Trump administration withdrew last year from the 2015 deal meant to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its oil exports. But the “maximum pressure” policy is designed to coax Tehran into more concessions not to drag the U.S. into a new Middle East war just as it draws down troops in Syria.Rolling back Shiite Muslim Iran’s power remains a priority for the Sunni Gulf Arab leadership. There’s an increasing recognition, however, that no one stands to gain from a military escalation in the world’s top oil-exporting region.Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication didn’t respond to an email seeking comment. The U.A.E. declined to comment. But in a Nov. 10 speech, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said he saw “a path to a deal with Iran that all parties might soon” be ready to embark on if Tehran demonstrated commitment.War to ‘Cold Peace’In search of a breakthrough, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricketer elected with the backing of a powerful army that provides extensive support for the Saudi military, shuttled between Tehran and Riyadh in October. He met Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, as well as Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, describing talks as “encouraging.”Khan said he traveled at the request of Trump and Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the diplomacy wasn’t prompted by the kingdom. But deepening unease in the Gulf catalyzed the effort.Turning these overtures into lasting peace between countries that have grown further apart since the 1979 Iranian revolution remains far off.The Gulf states resent Iran’s deep reach into Arab nations. While ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon suggest Iran has reached the limit of its regional influence, they are unlikely to reverse political and military advances decades in the making.“Cold peace is possible but we are certainly far from a grand bargain,” said Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins. “For that, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi would have to accept a role for Iran in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.”As they explore ways forward, Gulf states are moving at different speeds.The U.A.E. broke with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia by not naming Iran as the culprit behind attacks in May and June on oil tankers as they sailed toward the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s foremost oil shipping chokepoint.It sent coast guard officials to Iran for the first time in six years and Rouhani hinted at other meetings with senior U.A.E. officials. “We’re moving toward improved relations,” he said Oct. 14. Saudi Arabia is catching up.Washington built a multilateral naval operation to protect shipping in the Gulf after the attacks and sent more troops to Saudi Arabia. Both actions resulted in a “down tick” in Iranian actions,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Nov. 13. “The Iranians should not mistake our restraint for weakness.”Where the U.S. holds back, however, others are crowding in. Besides his role in saving Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has forged a partnership with Iran, created an oil alliance with Saudi Arabia and built ties with Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who was warned by the U.S. last month against plans to purchase Russian jets.Putin traveled to Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. in October after visits by the Saudi king and the U.A.E.’s de-facto leader Mohammad bin Zayed to Moscow. The two Gulf countries and Russia have signed deals valued at billions of dollars.For Iran’s Rouhani, the case for regional engagement is obvious.“Don’t you know that Iran is going to stay here and we will remain neighbors throughout history?” he has said, referring to Iran’s Arab neighbors. “Trump will only be around for a few years and will go back to whatever it was he was doing.”\--With assistance from Golnar Motevalli and Glen Carey.To contact the reporter on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at zfattah@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Mark WilliamsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

Greece to ask for NATO’s support in dispute with Turkey

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Greece to ask for NATO’s support in dispute with TurkeyGreece’s prime minister said Sunday he will ask other NATO members at the alliance’s London summit to support Greece in the face of fellow member Turkey’s attempts to encroach on Greek sovereignty, notably last week’s agreement with Libya delineating maritime borders in the Mediterranean. Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the ruling conservative New Democracy party’s congress Sunday that NATO can’t remain indifferent when one of its members “blatantly violates international law” and that a neutral approach is to the detriment of Greece, which has never sought to ratchet up tensions in the area. Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have all condemned the Libyan-Turkish accord as contrary to international law.



          

The Egypt Automotive Market Is Forecast To Grow At a High CAGR To 2026

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(EMAILWIRE.COM, November 28, 2019 ) Amid strong demand for automotive vehicles, several domestic and foreign OEM manufacturers are planning to expand their production bases in Egypt. Government of Egypt also prioritizes the automotive segment as a key revenue generator and is encouraging flow of...
          

Sagas of the Sea Peoples Quickstart

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Sagas of the Sea Peoples QuickstartPublisher: Sword's Edge Publishing

The climate is changing, causing droughts and famines. Natural disasters limit the ability of governments to respond. Those governments are involved in wars that are bankrupting them. The global trade network has collapsed. And all this has created waves of migration, which governments are characterizing as ravening hordes, coming to destroy civilization.

Welcome to the Late Bronze Age Collapse.

It’s the turn of the eleventh century BCE in the Mediterranean. The kingdoms of the Achaean Greeks, the empire of the Hittites, the trade centre of Troy, and the powerful city-states that line the coast have fallen. Egypt faces ruin. The world, as you know it, is ending.

You are one of many who have fled your homeland, finding a community among those we now call the Sea Peoples. How will you survive as order and government collapse? How will your protect your community—your friends and your family—in these most unstable times? When will you ever find peace?

Sagas of the Sea Peoples is a tabletop role-playing game set in the Late Bronze Age Collapse. The characters are leaders of the Sea Peoples, seeking better lives, struggling against innumerable enemies, and facing the fall of the civilizations in which they were born. It will be crowd-funded on Kickstarter in early 2020, and has been released only through my Patreon. This Quickstart is intended to give a glimpse of the system and the setting.

Price: $0.00
          

Markets Brief: Egypt sells land, Lebanon’s black market, Aramco retail investors

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Samba Capital, the lead manager of the Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) has announced the depth of retail subscriptions thus far. Meanwhile, Lebanon’s black market exchange rate soars
          

Egypt’s Rameda Pharmaceutical to float 49 pct stake on EGX

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Egypt’s Rameda Pharmaceutical said on Wednesday it would float 49 percent of its shares on the Egyptian stock exchange to raise up to 1.755 billion pounds ($109 million) and expects to start
          

Man Recounts Experience of Registering with the Police as part of his visa conditions

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Written by Hazem Zohny.

The UK government finds my nationality sufficiently suspicious that it requires me to register with the police. Unlike any of the other foreign nationals working at my research centre, I alone have to present myself to the police to get ‘certified’ as part of my visa conditions.

This is because I’m from Egypt – one of the 40 or so listed countries (mostly poor and/or Muslim majority) for which this is a requirement. Basically, anyone who wants to live and work in the UK for more than 6 months and who is from the Middle East, Central Asia or a handful of South American countries has to do this.

There is no explicit rationale for it. The law itself says that it is a way of ensuring people like me comply with the terms of their visa, though zero justification is given for why people from these particular countries are singled out.



Even the policeman who issued my certificate had no idea, and when I half-jokingly suggested it was because I’m from a ‘dodgy country’, he laughed nervously and suggested instead that it might be a money spinner by the UK government (yes, aside from the mild indignity of presenting yourself to the police as someone who needs a bit of extra monitoring compared to his colleagues, you also have to cough up £34).

The only plausible rationale for this policy is this: people from these countries are believed to be less likely to comply with their visa conditions compared to people from other countries. And, even though my employer and the Home Office require me to keep my details updated, it is nevertheless deemed necessary to involve the long arm of the law to make it easier for the state to find and deport me if I (but not someone from, say, Canada or Australia) contravene my visa conditions.

I’ve been unable to find any evidence to support the idea that people from these listed countries are in fact more likely to contravene their visa conditions. But let us presume this is true: people from countries like Egypt are, on average, less likely to, say, leave the UK when their visa expires. This wouldn’t be an entirely unfounded assumption: people are less likely to want to go back to countries that are, socioeconomically at least, less pleasant to be in, no matter how rubbish the weather here is.

If this is true, might it justify this kind of discrimination? Because, on the face of it, this does appear like blatant discrimination: a harm (a fairly small one but a harm nonetheless) is being imposed on an individual simply because they belong to a particular group. Moreover, that individual has no control over belonging to that group (most people cannot choose their citizenship).

Of course, belonging to a group that is more strongly associated with some undesirable activity in and of itself does not justify treating every member in that group in a way that disadvantages them, however marginally. For instance, black males in London account for a significantly higher percentage of victims and suspects of violent crimes. Nothing about this ought to justify getting all black men in London to present themselves and pay a fee to register with the police, even though violent crime is presumably far more problematic than migrants contravening visa conditions.

True, there are an important number of disanalogies between being a particular foreign national and a UK national of a certain race. For instance, one might argue that the UK government ought to look at, say, knife crime and conclude that, rather than institute more draconian measures, it has an obligation to understand the root causes of those crimes, and to use its power to tackle those causes. In contrast, there isn’t much the UK state can do about the root causes behind why certain foreign nationals so desperately do not want to return home once their visas expire (unless of course you think a bit of old-school imperialism is in order).

This difference might go a little way in justifying this practice, but note the number of hoops we’ve had to jump to get to this conclusion. We’ve not only had to assume that individuals from the listed countries are indeed more likely to contravene their visa conditions compared to those not on the list, but we’ve also assumed that making all of them register with the police is the appropriate response to that possibility.

The sad reality is that for many people from those listed countries, they are sufficiently relieved to even be granted a visa to work here that they dare not lift an eyebrow at this requirement. Something tells me that if a country with a bit more international standing were on that list, this practice would have long ago been scrubbed.

Until then, nothing tells someone who is here to work (and who is paying taxes and subject to the laws of the land like everyone else) “we don’t trust you” like making it a criminal offense for them to fail to present themselves to a crime fighting institution so they can be more effectively monitored.

          

DECEMBER 2, 2019

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Cairo, Egypt: (Left to right) Albert Lin and Dr Meredith Brand inspect the Merneptah Stele at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. This image is from Buried Secrets of The Bible with Albert Lin.
          

Paris Live, Monday November 25, 2019

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In today's edition of Paris Live, we zigzag across the globe from politics in Hong Kong, to the film industry in Egypt, via the struggles of youth in southeast Asia.
          

Snow White Birthday Party

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Snow White Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (4)

The Seven Dwafs are hard at work in this darling Snow White Birthday Party by Mai Ashraf of Eventopia, out of Cairo, Egypt!

...From the Enchanted Forest backdrop to the cute Snow White sweets, this celebration is a "Heigh-ho!" retreat!

So while your whistling or singing away, be sure to spot these amazing details along the way:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarf Standees
  • Poison Apple Trees
  • Snow White Themed Sugar Cookies
  • Enchanted Mirror
  • Adorable Snow White-inspired Desserts
  • Basket Favors

The post Snow White Birthday Party appeared first on Kara's Party Ideas.


          

L'actualité de Papa Sierra en décembre

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Papa Sierra est fier d'annoncer la diffusion prochaine du film documentaire L'Egypte vue du ciel, le mardi 10 décembre à 21h05 sur France 2. Le film est construit comme un voyage au fil du Nil dont la narration sera assurée par l'acteur Pio Marmaï. Le comédien a l'actualité foisonnante puisqu'il a tourné récemment avec Cédric Klapish, Pierre Salvadori, Thierry de Peretti... et qu'il sera bientôt à l'affiche d'un film de super-héros français (chose assez rare pour être notée). Réalisé par Michael Pithiot, (...) - Prises de vues spécialisées /
          

UN: States Denounce Egypt’s Rights Record

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The 36th Session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. 

© 2017 Reuters

(Geneva) – United Nations member countries offered strong criticism and scores of recommendations addressing Egypt’s human rights crisis at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on November 13, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today.

During the review, countries across all regions called on Egypt to end torture and ill-treatment, investigate crimes committed by security forces, allow nongovernmental organizations and activists to work independently, and protect human rights while countering terrorism. Many countries also said that Egypt should halt executions and review its laws to minimize or end the use of the death penalty. Several countries said that Egypt should take more serious measures to halt violence against women, including by criminalizing domestic violence and by prosecuting those responsible for female genital mutilation, which is still widely practiced.

“The strong criticism of Egypt from countries across the world shows the international community is waking up to the human rights crisis in Egypt,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s important for these countries to follow-up with Egypt directly to take concrete measures to adopt their recommendations.”

Established in 2006, the Universal Periodic Review involves a comprehensive review of the human rights records of all UN member states by other countries in a rotation every four and a half years. Local and international organizations, as well as the country under review, have the opportunity to contribute reports to inform the review process.

Following each review, a group of three member states collaborate with the state under review, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will produce an “outcome report” that includes the recommendations presented and the responses of the state under review.

Egypt has several months to accept or reject the recommendations. The Human Right Council will adopt the UPR report, including the recommendations, at its session in March 2020. More than 130 countries offered 372 recommendations. Unlike previous UPR cycles, Egypt did not immediately accept any recommendations, and said it will use the time available to consider them. Egypt should accept all substantive recommendations to improve its human rights record, and UN experts, member states, and agencies should continue pressing Egypt to halt its violations, Human Rights Watch said.

Although Egypt accepted recommendations to improve its human rights record during previous UPR cycles, and promised several times to amend its laws to strictly prohibit and punish torture, the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has moved in the opposite direction. Since assuming office, the al-Sisi government has issued more laws that grant impunity for army and police officers and has generally failed to transparently investigate and prosecute serious human rights violations, including apparent crimes against humanity.

The head of the Egyptian government delegation, Omar Marwan, claimed during the November 13 review that “Egypt had exerted its utmost efforts for the past five years to implement the [earlier] recommendations.” In its previous review in 2014, Egypt accepted 224 out of 300 recommendations. However, the government carried out few of these recommendations and human rights violations have since dramatically escalated.

Countries at the Human Rights Council should continue to exert pressure on Egypt to reform its human rights record, including by expressing concerns through collective statements during upcoming sessions of the council in 2020.

Human Rights Watch made two submissions to the current review. A general submission examined the severe deterioration of human rights since Egypt’s last review in 2014 and a joint submission with the Egyptian Front for Human Rights, an independent Czech-based group, detailed war crimes and serious rights abuses by government forces and armed groups in North Sinai.

A few weeks before this review session, following nationwide anti-government protests that erupted on September 20, the Egyptian authorities rounded up over 4,300 people in one of the largest sweeps in the country since late 2013. The mass arrests included well-known figures and activists, and sometimes included their relatives.

Leading human rights activists in Egypt were not able to participate in the review session since the authorities have banned most of them from leaving the country for the past four years, and have relentlessly prosecuted them under criminal charges in violation of their basic rights and liberties.

In October, Gamal Eid, a leading rights activist and lawyer, was physically assaulted in Cairo by armed men under circumstances that indicate the involvement of state security agencies. That month, authorities also detained prominent human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer. Egypt’s authorities have kept Ibrahim Ezz el-Din, a researcher with the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, in incommunicado detention since they arrested him in June.

“Egyptian authorities’ flagrant abuses only days before the UN review session shows the utter disregard this government has for human rights,” Stork said. “It will only act to uphold rights when other governments step up the pressure.”


          

When Dreams are delayed

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When Dreams are Delayed

Proverbs 13:12a Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

God Gets It! God understands when your hopes are delayed or deferred or denied. And God knows it makes your fragile heart a little bit sick.

Now I want to say to you - there's that spirit of delay. It's stopping your dreams; it's stopping this convergence. So the Lord says, “I want you to be spiritually astute. I don't want you to just let life pass you by and assume this is a natural thing when we live in two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. The kingdom of darkness wants to stop your dreams, stop you from advancing, and the kingdom of light wants you to go forward; God's power wants you to go forward.”

1 Samuel 1 talks about Hanna. She had a dream of being a mother but her dream was delayed to the point of despair. Hanna was barren and couldn't give her husband a son. In her culture this was considered a curse. Why was Hanna's dream delayed?

1 Samuel 1:4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.

We can see clearly that she wasn't barren because of a curse but God closed her womb. Why did a loving God did this? Maybe we have also a dream delayed, just like Hanna and we question ourselves why? Maybe you cried bitter tears and are discouraged but your situation is about to change!

It's better to have the God of blessing than just the blessing of God!

  • Problems and trials make us draw near to God
  • It's in crisis mode that we pray more and obtain spiritual endurance
  • The greatest lessons of life are learned during seasons of suffering.

The love of God is manifested in times of trouble

  • After Hanna got pregnant she saw the birth of Samuel as an extraordinary miracle and she gave her son back to the Lord.
  • Hanna understood the source of the miracle and instead of using him as a trophy she gave him back to God.

God's dreams are greater than our own dreams!

  • Hanna's dream was motherhood. God's dream was for Hanna to be the mother of the greatest prophet of her generation.
  • God delayed the dream because he had a better thing than Hanna ever dreamed or imagined.

3 Things that destroy our dreams

  1. Jealous acquaintances - Penina was constantly nagging Hanna and this caused her to feel like she was second class.

  2. People that misunderstand our motives - The priest thought that Hanna was drunk when she was really filled with the Spirit of God. Not only he didn't evaluate things properly but was quick to pass judgement .

  3. People that tell you to give up - Hanna's husband loved her but also told her that her love was better than 10 children. People with no faith can comfort you but they will kill your dreams.

7 Steps to Achieve Your Dream

  1. Dream it - Think about it!
  2. Believe in God - Hanna continued praying and confessing her dream
  3. Believe in God's promises - Hanna kept a prophetic word she received form the priest
  4. Confess it! Speak your dream to yourself and others
  5. Plan it - Make plans to accommodate your dream
  6. Prepare - Study subjects and work on your skills.
  7. Live the dream! Enjoy the favour of God

Father, we thank You, Lord, that we're going to accept and we're going to believe that nothing is impossible. There is a dream convergence going on, there is restitution going on, there is favor going on. Lord, we receive it!

God-sized dreams are rarely served up fast food style. In fact often, they come slower than slow cooked.

One Bible character who knew a little something about delayed dreams was Joseph. At 18 years old he dreamed that his older brothers would bow down to him. Instead they sold him into slavery in Egypt. Over the course of about nine years, he worked his way to the top of Potiphar’s team, but was then falsely accused of attacking his boss’ wife, which landed him in jail. While there he made a couple of friends and practiced his dream interpretations. When Joseph was 30, Pharaoh called for him to interpret his own difficult dream. Pharaoh was so impressed he made Joseph the second most powerful person in Egypt. Joseph helped Egypt store up enough supplies to endure the coming famine, and eventually his brothers came begging for sustenance. After some trickery, Joseph finally reveals his identity to his brothers and they fall down before begging for mercy. Joseph was 41 years old. He waited 23 years for the fulfillment of his dreams.

Sometimes delays are just delays, giving you or God time to set just the right conditions for your dreams to become realities.


          

Prophetic Actions

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A prophetic action (prophetic act) is something done (at God's directions) in the natural (physical) realm that supports God's workings in the spiritual realm, to bring forth results that would be manifested in the natural realm. Such prophetic ministry becomes the forerunner of that move of God that opens the channel for His glory and power to be released that will affect our natural environment.

The prophetic act or activity is usually displayed or demonstrated or communicated in a dimension or language that is thought to be easily understood by those to whom the revealed prophetic actions is intended.

Prophetic acts that might have yielded fruits of great glory are of no special significance if not ordered by God.

THREE KINDS OF PROPHETIC ACTIONS

1.PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY GOD HIMSELF

The Prophetic acts of God often convey His love for His people. But many times these prophetic acts also communicated God’s disappointment, correction, and rebuke.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them

This is a prophetic act of enormous prophetic portion. God provides a covering for them in the form of a prophetic act of the redemption. God made them coats of skin to now cover them. The coats were not to shield them from the elements as we use coats today, but they were to cover them in their now perceived nakedness. Our sin exposes us not to God but to ourselves and to the perceptions of others.

2. PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY A PROPHET

Acts 21:10,11 10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus 11 And coming to us, • he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns * this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”

Agabus revealed to Paul and the disciples that the road ahead wouldn’t be easy for the owner of the belt (Paul).

3. PROPHETIC ACTIONS PERFORMED BY A BELIEVER

The best example of a prophetic act performed by a believer is water baptism. A prophetic action enables the recipients to see what they are unwilling to accept through mere words due to their frightened or hardened hearts. If they reject the physical act, then the state of their hearts is exposed. Water Baptism is a Symbolical enactment of death to self and resurrection to a new life with Christ.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Baptism will not save you but the prophetic act of obedience to God’s commandment will place you on the path of salvation.

Prophetic acts can break accepted cultural, ethical, and religious norms.

  1. Jeremiah was told not to marry or have children in order to live out a prophetic action before God’s people (Jer.16:1-13). God’s prophetic words to His people were all the more potent as they came through this bachelor-prophet: as Jeremiah had no offspring, so the children born to Jewish parents would die from disease and by the hand of their enemies.
  2. Ezekiel was ordered toshave his beard and head (a disgrace for a Jewish man; see II Sam.10:4-5), and then to burn one third of it in the center of Jerusalem, strike one third with a sword throughout the city, and scatter the remaining third to the wind (Ez.5:1-17). He was then to explain to the people in Jerusalem how his actions represented the judgments that were coming upon them.
  3. The prophet Hosea was divinely directed twice to marry prostitutes (Hos.1:2-9; 3:1-5). His marriages, and the children he fathered in the first marriage, were prophetic actions to Israel.
  4. The prophet Zechariah was commanded to place a kingly crown upon the head of the high priest Joshua (Zech.6:9-15). His act was noteworthy because priests were forbidden from ruling as kings, and vice versa (see II Chr.26:16-21; Num.3:10; 16:39-40).This violation of the written word was followed by a prophetic word that foretold the Priest-King, Jesus Christ, who would rebuild Jerusalem’s temple and rule on the throne of Israel – a true priest on His throne.

Moses ROD

  1. Moses was always carrying out prophetic acts with his rod, he was always prophesying with his rod. God chose Moses, knowing he had a speech impediment (see Exodus 4:10), so He (God) could speak through him; so He could do signs, wonders and miracles through him; so He could do prophetic acts through him. God chose a man who now knew how to LEAN ON HIM. God said to Moses in Exodus 4:2, “What’s that in your hand? . . . USE IT!” His rod became his point of contact for prophetic acts.

  2. In Exodus 14, after the Israelites fled from Egypt, we read about the Egyptians pursuing them with vengeance; they wanted to retrieve their slaves; the exodus of the Israelites had humiliated them; they were all devastated at the loss of their firstborn. In verses 15, 16 & 21 we see that Moses had to DO something, not SAY something. “Don’t speak . . . ACT! Stop praying, stop crying out to Me and get the people moving forward. Stretch out your rod over the sea and divide it . . .”

Elisha & King Joash's Arrow

2 Kings 13:14-19 14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. 15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. 16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. 17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. 18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. 19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.

  1. Elisha the prophet instructed the king to release arrows eastwards from a bow. Apparently, this was a prophetic act that meant that Israel would triumph over her enemies, the Syrians, who were occupying Israel's land in the east of Jordan.
  2. Following that, Elisha gave instructions for another prophetic act: "The arrow of the Lord's deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them". Having said that to the king, Elisha instructed the King to strike the ground with arrows. King Joash dealt only three blows to the ground - to the reproach of Elisha who told him that because he struck the ground only three times, therefore Syria would suffer defeat not more than three times; while had the king struck the ground repeatedly Syria would have been rendered beyond recovery and would cease to be of any further threat to Israel.

The measure of victory we gain over our enemies comes from the obedience we give to divine instructions.

Your obedience + God's faithfulness = Great Things

Can you be trusted with more?

Luke 16:10 New American Standard "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.


          

Gaza Man Creates Art by Balancing Objects

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Whenever Mohammed al-Shenbari sees a new object, he quickly tries to find its “balancing point.” In other words, he tries make it stand in a way that appears to defy gravity. The 24-year-old Palestinian artist says he can balance almost any object. To do this, he uses what he calls a mix of mind and body. On the grounds of his home in northern Gaza, al-Shenbari stood a chair on one leg and balanced a television (TV) on a bottle of Coca Cola. “You just need to know the fulcrum of the object and you get it,” he told The Associated Press. Al-Shenbari is also a physical fitness and bodybuilding coach. He says his healthy lifestyle helped him slowly develop “the great focus” necessary for balancing objects. The internet has been important to al-Shenbari's education. A year ago, he discovered a YouTube video by Korean balance artist Nam Seok Byun. Al-Shenbari liked the way the artist organized layers of rocks. He used small, round pebbles to support each level. Trying to copy his hero, al-Shenbari said he would spend days working on what seem like basic models. Now, it takes him just a few minutes to find out how to build them. The Gaza Strip lies between Israel and Egypt. Israel has restricted movement to and from the area for 12 years since the Hamas militant group took power. Al-Shenbari's skill has made him a popular performer in Gaza. But after years of living under difficult conditions, he, like many young Gazans, wants to leave the territory in search of better opportunities. His dream is to compete on reality TV shows. He also hopes to travel to Asia to improve his skills. I'm Jonathan Evans.   Hatem Moussa reported this story for the Associated Press. John Russell adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor. _______________________________________________________________ Words in This Story   defy – v. to go against (something) fulcrum - n. technical: the support on which a lever moves when it is used to lift something coach – n. someone who trains lifestyle – n. the way of life of an individual or group focus - n. the act of directing something, such as attention, at something opportunity – n. a good chance or likelihood for success We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.
          

November 2019 KingFut Pharaoh of the Month: Ramadan Sobhi

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This month’s KingFut Pharaoh of the Month award, which recognizes the best Egyptian athlete of November 2019, goes to Ramadan Sobhi. In a month,where club football had been missing for two weeks, it’s hard for any Egyptian to say that they had been missing it. The U23s African Cup of Nations took over all of […]

The post November 2019 KingFut Pharaoh of the Month: Ramadan Sobhi appeared first on KingFut.


          

Egypt U-17 suffer defeat to Tunisia in North African Championship final

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Egypt U-17 national team suffered a 3-1 defeat to hosts, Tunisia, in the North African Championship’s final game. The Pharaohs opened the scoring in the first half before Tunisia equalized from a penalty at the stroke of half time. Tunisia then added a second goal after the break before scoring a third after Egypt missed […]

The post Egypt U-17 suffer defeat to Tunisia in North African Championship final appeared first on KingFut.


          

CAF CC: Pyramids earn tough away victory at Enugu

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Pyramids FC have gotten off on the right foot in the CAF Confederations Cup group-stages with an away victory at Enugu Rangers. The Egyptian club is placed in group A alongside compatriots Al Masry, Mauritania’s FC Nouadhibou, Enugu Rangers of Nigeria. Things didn’t start well for Pyramids at the Enugu Rangers Stadium as after 28 […]

The post CAF CC: Pyramids earn tough away victory at Enugu appeared first on KingFut.


          

Link Aero Trading Agency

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Link Aero Trading Agency

Link Aero Trading Agency was established in 1992 to provide airlines with Ground Handling services and Civil Aviation permissions. Since then, Link Aero Trading Agency has handled close to 20 million passengers, over 150 thousand flights and more than 140 clients including scheduled, charter, government, military, private and cargo operators.

Over the years we have steadily grown and become leaders in the provision of global Flight & Ground Support services and have strategically expanded our permanent presence in Egypt, UAE, Jordan & Morocco in order to optimize our African & Middle East partnerships and obtain a closer control over the more challenging destinations. Through this essential expansion, we can offer 100% reliability in our comprehensive Ground & Flight Support services through our 24/7 operations team.


Category: Business Process Management Solutions
: 19 Ismail Mohamed Zamalek Area
: Cairo
: UK
: Egypt
: http://linkagency.com/
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eDesign is hiring a Sr. UI/UX Designer in Cairo, Egypt

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Watch Egyptian and Lebanese women pioneer Filmmakers : The true legends "Updated"

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Cairo is currently hosting its 41st International Film Festival and I believe it is one of its best editions.
Having a Martin Scorsese's film like The Irishman to open the festival and to have its first Middle East Premiere in Cairo is a big thing for cinema lovers in Egypt.
Needless to say, I read very good reviews of it from Egyptian viewers who waited to see it since 9 AM to watch it.
I am waiting to see it after a few hours inshallah on Netflix.
This year also it was announced the US’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences aka of Oscars awarded the Festival OSCAR qualifying film festival status.
The winner of the Best Short Film award in the Short film competition ‘Cinema of Tomorrow’ section will eligible for consideration in the Animated and Live Action Short Film Categories of the ACADEMY AWARDS without the standard theatrical run,” CIFF said in its statement about the big achievement.
CIFF is the only and first film festivals in North Africa to join the list of qualifying international film festival joining other big film festivals like Cannes, Venice and Berlin

I must say that Mohamed Hefzy, the head of the CIFF succeeded this year.
Yes, it is not all glitz like Gouna Film Festival but CIFF proved it can overcome and survive against all odds. 
Youssef Cherif Rizallah is surely proud in his grave that his efforts in the CIFF have not gone in vain.

Now among the things I like about the CIFF this year is its tribute to pioneer Egyptian and Lebanese women filmmakers in a short beautiful video.
Watch it after the break




The women featured in the clip are Aziza Amir,Bahidga Hafez, Amina Mohamed, Fatima Rushdi, Assia Dagher and her niece Mary Queeny.
I know about most of the ladies in that short clip but I am surprised to know that Amina Mohamed was a director.

The Multi-talented Amina Mohamed

She wrote, edited, directed and produced “Tita Wong” in 1937 on the roof of a building with LE 17 pounds only.
I have read that she was a dancer and an actress in addition to its most famous role in Egypt: Being Amina Rizk’s aunt. Amina Rizk is one of Egypt’s legendary actors.

Here is a very interesting and rare interview for Amina Mohamed with the multi-talented TV host Samir Sabry on Egyptian State TV in the 1970s.



 That interview gives you an idea about how Amina Mohamed was an interesting character.

Egyptian actress and filmmaker Amina Mohamed
Amina Mohamed in her youth
as an exotic dancer from Rawi magazine
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After quitting the cinema world, Mohamed became a businesswoman who was planning to open a motel in Suez’ Ain Al-Sokhna.

Amina Mohamed was frank, she quitted Cinema because she did not want to be typecast in the mother role as she grew older.

She wanted the roles of strong fierce women.

Ironically, her niece Amina Rizk was typecasted in the role of Mother.

By the way, Amina Rizk is considered for real a 'drama queen' in Egypt to the level that we say commonly "Do not be Amina Rizk" when you refer to a drama queen or king in our daily talk.

She refused to dye her hair and left it white because she did not want to be artificial.
She spoke frankly about her dancing career in Europe and how she did not like belly dancing because she did not like “butt’s shaking”.

In Europe, Amina Mohamed said that she danced in Paris’ Lido and presented another type of dancing.
The woman was too fierce that she slammed legendary belly dancer Soheir Zaki. I really like how she was speaking freely about what was on her mind.

Her niece Amina Rizk was not that open in an interview.

Bahiga Hafez recounts her history 

I found another very rare interview I found in the Egyptian TV archives on YouTube.This is time is a 30-minutes interview with Egyptian pioneer actor and director Bahiga Hafez.



The daughter of a wealthy Pasha, Hafez was Egypt's first actress to appear in a long-silent movie in a leading role in "Zeinab", which was also based on what is considered Egypt's first modern Arabic novel.

She was also the first woman director, producer, writer and soundtrack composer. Another interesting character from a bygone era. 

Amina Mohamed and her sisters were not only pioneers in Egypt but in the Middle East and Africa.
Yet, they are often neglected unfortunately in the Western media.
Already I doubt that many Westerners ignore that we have had a very old and interesting cinema industry like the one we have in Egypt.

          

Implementation of a labour companionship model in three public hospitals in Arab middle-income countries.

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Implementation of a labour companionship model in three public hospitals in Arab middle-income countries.

Acta Paediatr. 2018 12;107 Suppl 471:35-43

Authors: Kabakian-Khasholian T, Bashour H, El-Nemer A, Kharouf M, Elsheikh O, Labour Companionship Study Group

Abstract
AIM: To assess the feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness and cost of the integration of a tailored labour companionship model in three public hospitals in Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.
METHODS: Phased implementation research using mixed methods. Implementation strategies consisted of steering committees in hospitals, seminars for healthcare providers, information, education and communication materials, and adjustments in labour rooms. The labour companionship model consisted of (i) identification of a female relative as labour companion by women; (ii) provision of information, education and communication materials to women and companions; and (iii) allowing companions to accompany women throughout the first stage of labour. Semi-structured interviews with women, labour companions and healthcare providers were used to assess feasibility and acceptability of the model. Effectiveness was assessed through structured interviews with women, information abstracted from medical records and cost data. The comparison was made between the pre-implementation and the implementation phases.
RESULTS: This model was found to be feasible, acceptable, effective and cost-beneficial. Women's satisfaction and perception of control improved and caesarean section rates were reduced significantly.
CONCLUSION: This model can be adopted for these countries and elsewhere with comparable health systems. It enhances the quality of care and the provision of equitable and respectful maternity services.

PMID: 30570794 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


          

Teo a Leonie: Pokladnice bohů [Pascal Conicella, Mélanie Corbat, Pascal Montjovent / CPress]

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Naši průzkumníci uvízli v temnotách egyptského chrámu, padli do rukou stráže mladého Faraona a mají být předhozeni za potravu krokodýlům.
          

V Egyptě objevili vzácné dřevěné mumie. Jsou staré více než tři tisíce let

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Tým francouzských archeologů objevil v egyptském Luxoru tři vzácné dřevěné sarkofágy.Tyto sarkofágy jsou typické pro dobu před 3 500 let, tedy pro období, kdy v Egyptě vládla 18.

          

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement following his meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry (Cairo, 1 December 2019)

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Today I had the pleasure of visiting my friend the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, here in Egypt. We had the opportunity to discuss bilateral issues and a wide range of issues concerning the region of the southeastern Mediterranean and the Gulf. As always, we share a common perspective with Egypt on most of the problems. And of course we discussed the two memoranda signed between Turkey and the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mr. Sarraj. We both have the impression, first of all, that Mr. Sarraj probably lacks the necessary legitimacy to sign these memorandums. But in any case, they function as destabilising factors for the wider region. We will continue to monitor the situation. We also agreed with the Egyptian Minister to accelerate the discussions between the technical teams on characterisation and delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones between Greece and Egypt. In any case, it is always a very important opportunity when I come to Egypt and we are able to discuss our bilateral issues. 0iUw-NU5Ruk,640,360
          

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias to visit Egypt (Cairo, 1 December 2019)

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias will visit Cairo tomorrow, Sunday, 1 December, for talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.The talks will focus on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean in light of the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between Turkey and Libya.
          

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ speech at the 8th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum (Athens, 28 November 2019)

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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis represented the Prime Minister at the 8th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum, which took place on Wednesday, 28 November 2019. Referring to the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, which turns 40 this year, Mr. Varvitsiotis stressed that “it remains a milestone in Arab-Greek cooperation” that has significant mutual benefits for all business sectors. In this context, he said, we are super-charging economic cooperation with the Arab world, emphasising the favourable environment the new government’s policy is creating to attract investments. Moreover, he stated, the Arab world is not only fertile ground for business opportunities, but also a space of major geo-economic cooperation for Greece. Among other things, Mr. Varvitsiotis announced a new form of visa – the Business Visa – that will enable businesses to invite collaborators, partners, suppliers or importers of products to Greece, while also taking responsibility for the hosting, housing and departure of Business-Visa holders. “We are the second country in the European Union, after Italy, to establish such a visa, with the aim of facilitating these cases,” he added. Additionally, our country wants to capitalise on the historically close and privileged ties it maintains with the Arab world in order to contribute to “shaping a two-way relationship between Europe and the Arab world. A relationship that respects the values, traditions and unique characteristics of each side, contributing towards a future of cooperation and understanding”. Mr. Varvitsiotis also referred to the challenges in the Southeastern Mediterranean, where Greece has proven itself to be a pillar of stability, security and development, dealing responsibly and calmly with escalating provocations. It continues to act in accordance with International Law and the Law of the Sea, unlike its restless neighbour, whose actions are disruptive in the region, he underscored. In the same context, and jointly with Cyprus, Greece has developed trilateral cooperation mechanisms with partners in the Eastern Mediterranean, such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and, recently, the United Arab Emirates. He called these cooperation mechanisms very successful, as they are an innovative way to systematically promote political and economic cooperation throughout the region.Finally, Mr. Varvitsiotis thanked Qatar for its support of the Mati wildfire victims.
          

14:35 - Egypt - Mesto smetí

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Dokument opisuje minulosť, prítomnosť a nádeje ľudí žijúcich na okraji väčšinovej spoločnosti v egyptskej Káhire a opisuje úlohu Koptskej kresťanskej komunity, ktorá im pomáha.
          

Come Follow Me: 1-3 John; Jude

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The Epistles of John

The Epistles of John are believed to have been written around 100-110 AD by John the Apostle.

Fighting the Heretic Gnostics

In this time period of early Christianity, the church was fighting various factions that taught different teachings regarding Christ.  Perhaps one of the most challenging groups of heretics would be the Gnostics.  The term Gnostic comes from the word “gnosis” which means a hidden knowledge or secret.  There were several different groups of Gnostics, each with varying beliefs. However, most had some concepts in common.  First, they believed they held secret knowledge from the apostles or through revelation that extended the gospel to another level.  Many would attend regular Christian meetings, but then also have their own meetings, where they believed the higher knowledge was taught.  For a time, some versions of Gnosticism dominated certain areas of the Christian world, and even threatened to overtake what is called the “proto-Orthodox” Christian Church.

       Heresy #1, good Jehovah and bad Elohim

1 John begins by telling us, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1:5).  Many of the Gnostics believed that the Garden of Eden story was about a god that created mankind in order to mess with them.  This god, Elohim, did not want to bless mankind, but to toy with them.  Meanwhile, the god Yahweh/Jehovah sought to save the people from the cruelty of the god Elohim.

John was teaching that God Elohim was and is a God of light, and not an evil god. The apostle then explained that we are to follow God and Jesus in the light. The Gnostic concept is that man was sinless, because it was God that caused the Fall, not man. However, we read, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1:8).  Gnostics blamed sin on Elohim, and hoped for salvation through Yahweh.  Yet, John teaches that we are responsible for our own separation from God, through our own sins.

Early Christians saw that Jesus was the Messiah, or the mortal Yahweh. He is the Son of God and the Angel of God’s Presence (Shekinah).  There was no battle going on between Elohim (God the Father) and Yahweh (God the Son).  John emphasizes this concept:


“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (2:22-23).

Connected to the concept of “God is Light” is that we must also seek the light, and reject the darkness.  This includes the concept that hatred equals darkness.  

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes” (2:9-11).


    Heresy #2 - Christ as Spirit, Jesus as Man

Among the key heretic issues taught by many Gnostic sects  was a belief in the docetic (dual) nature of Jesus:
1. They believed that the man Jesus and the God Christ were separate individuals.  When Jesus was baptized, the God Christ entered into him (the dove descending), and God the Father spoke saying, “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee....I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son” (Hebrews 1:5).  They did not think that Jesus the man was born the Son of God, but was begotten at baptism through a spiritual rebirth, when the God Christ entered into Jesus and became a part of him through mortality.

2. Christ did not suffer, Only Jesus did.  The Christ did the miracles and taught the people. But the man Jesus went through the suffering.  Upon the cross, “... about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46, Psalms 22:1).  In other words, prior to the suffering, the God Christ left Jesus to suffer and die alone.

3. The man Jesus was rewarded for his sacrifice by being the first to resurrect.  The God Christ, however, continued as a Spirit, never having been born , suffered, nor died as a mortal.

On this topic, John warns us about the danger of such a heresy:

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (4:2-3).

As we can see from the Gnostic belief of a separate Jesus and Christ, they did not believe that Christ came in the flesh.  Here, John intentionally uses the full name Jesus Christ, to show that Jesus the man and Christ the god are both the same being.  Jesus is god and man, Christ is god and man. Jesus = Christ.

And this is a sign of an anti-Christ (not necessarily THE Anti-Christ of the last days), which was in the Christian world in 100AD.  The Gnostics believed Christ continued as a spirit, never suffering nor truly interacting with mankind directly, but indirectly through Jesus the man.  For the Gnostics, Christ never resurrected in the flesh, and never will have a resurrected body.

Today, we can partially judge a Christian Church by determining whether it believe Jesus came in the flesh (mortality), died on the cross, and resurrected.  Resurrection means he forever retains his physical body, just as he retains his spirit.  Resurrected Jesus is God.

  Modern heresy of the Athanasius creed

The current concept of the Trinity came about through two councils: the Council of Nicea and the Council of Chalcedon, both done in the 4th century AD.  Prior to this time, many Christians believed that Christ came in the flesh and resurrected.  They believed that God the Father and God the Son were two separate beings.  For example, the early Christian defender Origen taught that Jesus was a God subordinate to the Father.    

However, from the end of the second century to the fourth century AD, more and more Christian leaders embraced Hellenistic (Greek) philosophy and embedded several such concepts into Christian belief.  Among these was the concept that there is only one God and he is of a pure substance (Spirit) that is completely different than any other substance.  Bishop Athanasius pushed for a new creed or belief that would designate the Father, Son and Holy Ghost as only one Spirit with three persons.  Other bishops, such as Arius and the historian Eusebius disagreed, but lost when Constantine (not yet baptized as a Christian) accepted Athanasius’ creed and established it as the Nicene Creed.  Constantine sent  many “heretic” Christians, who did not accept the Trinity, to the copper mines, which essentially was a death sentence.

It would still take over a century for the Nicene Creed to become Christian doctrine, as it almost lost out again in the 4th century.  Still, the Nicene Creed left many questions.  How could Christ be spirit and still have a physical body?  At the end of the 4th Century, the Council of Chalcedon began and determined the duality of Christ.  Today, most Christian religions embrace the two creeds as doctrine, even though the Bible is rather silent on such issues.
In fact, early Christans intentionally changed First John to reflect the Trinity in it.  1 John 5:7-8 tells us:

“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

This clearly sounds like evidence of the Trinity creed. However, scholars now call this the “Comma Johanneum”, or Johannine Comma or Clause.  The portion that was the later addition is: “in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth”.

Without the clause, the verse originally stated, “For there are three that bear record, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

The clause does not appear in any texts prior to the ninth century AD.  Such an effort to intentionally change the feel and thought of First John goes entirely against his teaching in the epistle!  He stated that Christ resurrected and had a body, while also being the Son of God.  Historically, the comment was added in a later Bible version called the Textus Receptus, which was used in all Bible translations from 1522 onward until the past century.  Yes, it is even in the King James Bible, which is one reason why LDS believe the Bible to be correct and the word of God  insofar as it is translated correctly (Article of Faith 8).

Jesus taught that “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), which is often used as evidence of the Trinity.  However, here John teaches that “God is love” (1 John 4:8).  God as spirit and love show attributes of God, not a specific statement that God is only one thing.  God can be a spirit, love, resurrected being with a physical body, and many other things.  To define him only as a spirit is to delimit him and our understanding of whom he really is.

What we do know, John teaches us:

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (God) is pure”  (1 John 3:2-3).







Background on Jude

Scholars differ on which Jude is the author of this epistle: whether it is the apostle Jude, the brother of Jesus, or if they are the same individual.  All agree that Judas Iscariot is not the author of the epistle.  

The epistle was controversial in the early days of Christianity.  All early Christian leaders believed in its authenticity, but argued over whether to include it in the canon of scripture, because of controversial concepts contained within it, including its quoting or referencing of non-canonical writings.  Origen discusses the early controversy over the epistle of Jude by some church leaders, though he personally accepted it.  The controversy continued into the 4th century, as noted by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History.

The epistle was not directed towards any particular Christian congregation, but was written to be distributed throughout all the churches of Christ.  Jude’s few verses are very similar to that found in 2 Peter (mostly chapter 2).  Scholars believe that either there was a previous source both used, or that one was the source for the other.

Keeping your First Estate

Jude begins his epistle discussing the importance of contending for the faith, and fighting against apostates who seek to turn believers from following Christ and his gospel.


“ 5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude).

Israel in Egypt is compared with the premortal existence.  From Egypt, Israel was offered a fresh start, a freedom, as they moved to the Promised Land.  Yet, many fought with Moses, thinking they knew better. In doing so, they were destroyed.

So it was in the premortal existence.  We were spirit children of God in the prior life.  Yet, as only spirits, we were limited to our growth, agency, and free will.  To move forward, we required a fresh start in mortality, with the expectation that we would believe in Christ and follow God through his appointed prophets.  

In Abraham 3, we read about this premortal experience:

“ 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him” (Book of Abraham 3).

Here we see that some chose to rebel, rather than follow the plan God set forth. Lucifer and many others rejected their first estate, or the experiences of the premortal life.  Instead of coming down to gain a body and have a chance at choosing eternal life through Christ, they rejected everything and were cast down from heaven, becoming Satan and his demons.  As Jude notes, these are they who rejected their first estate and are to be enchained in Outer Darkness in the final day of judgment.

So will it be for those who indulge in fornications and sexual pleasures that do not fall under the mandate of God.  Sodom and Gomorrah is noted as a place that was destroyed for its sinfulness.  Professor Harold Bloom wrote that Sodom and Gomorrah were not destroyed for its sinful sexual behaviors (including homosexual and heterosexual acts), but for the inhabitants not being hospitable.  In other words, God put up with their sinful natures until they attempted to impose that lifestyle upon others (such as on Lot and his angelic visitors).

Jude warns us that such sinful nature is the cause for destruction for a people.

Body of Moses

One of the two very controversial portions of the Epistle of Jude is the story regarding Moses’ body.

“9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”

Here, the greatest of the angels, Michael, contends with Satan for the body of Moses. Origen noted that this was a part of an ancient Jewish text entitled the “Assumption of Moses” (also known as the Testament of Moses), believed by modern scholars to have been written in the 1st century AD.  The Assumption of Moses that is now available no longer contains this story, but is believed by many to have been at the end in the original. This is part of the controversy that arises with Jude’s epistle.  He is actually quoting from a non-canonical source!

The concept comes forth that rather than dying, Moses is to ascend to heaven, even as Enoch or Elijah did.  In Jude, Michael must fight for Moses that he may ascend in a translated or raptured state, rather than die.

Enoch’s Prophecy

“14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Again, Jude quotes from another non-canonical source.  This time, it is from one of the various surviving books of Enoch.  The writings of Enoch were well accepted by many Jews and Christians from the 2nd century BC and until St Jerome rejected it for his compilation of the Bible.  Enoch is quoted or referenced dozens of times in the New Testament, with Jude as the most well known.

Fragments of Enoch writings are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, suggesting that the ancient Essenes accepted Enoch as scripture. Interestingly, the fragments within the Dead Sea Scrolls are only one of two places wherein we find a person named Mahujah/Mahijah who questions Enoch.  The other known writing of Enoch that has this encounter is found in Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Moses (Moses 6:40)!

Jude’s connection between Moses and Enoch is an important one. Both are called of God to be an important prophet in their days.  Both have a heavenly vision and then are sent back to earth with the commandments and teachings of God.  Both foresaw the coming of the Lord in glory and power among men.  In LDS belief, Enoch prepared his city of Zion to be lifted to heaven, while Moses tried to bring the children of Israel into the presence of God at Sinai, and then into the Promised Land.  Enoch saved his people from the evil that occurred before the Flood, while Moses saved his people from the evils in Egypt.

There is another place, besides Jude, where both prophets are discussed and offered as symbols of the coming Lord Jesus Christ.  Joseph Smith received a revelation while studying the Bible regarding the Creation, the Fall of Man, and the times of Enoch before the Flood.  All of this Joseph received through the eyes of the prophet Moses.

As with Enoch, Joseph Smith also proclaimed that the Lord would return for his Second Coming in great power and glory.  Our job is to keep the commandments, be chaste, virtuous, and righteous in following Christ. In doing so, the day may come when the archangel Michael may contend with the devil over us, that we may gain our second estate and receive a crown of glory.












Bibliography

Nag Hammadi Library (Primarily Gnostic writings found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt):
http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

First Peter - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_John

“Condemned to the Mines, Copper Production and Christian Persecution”, Biblical Archaeological Review, Nov/Dec 2011, pg 30:  http://www.bib-arch.org/bar/article.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=37&Issue=6&ArticleID=2

Comma Johanneum - wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comma_Johanneum

Epistle of Jude - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_of_Jude

Epistle of Jude - Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08542b.htm

Epistle of Jude - Early Christian Writings: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/jude.html

Inhospitality of Sodom - http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2010/02/lds-gospel-doctrine-class-old-testament_15.html

Lack of Hospitality by Sodom - Book of J, Harold Bloom, pp 299-301: http://www.amazon.com/Book-J-Harold-Bloom/dp/0802141919/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320158037&sr=8-1

Assumption of Moses - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assumption_of_Moses

Assumption of Moses (AKA Testament of Moses): http://www.piney.com/Testament-Moses.html

Book of Enoch (as quoted by Jude): http://www.piney.com/ApocEnoch1.html

Mahijah/Mahujah: http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com/2010/01/gospel-doctrine-old-testament-lesson-5.html

Book of Moses: http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses?lang=eng


          

Come Follow Me - 1 & 2 Peter

 Cache   
Come Follow Me - 1 & 2 Peter



First Peter

Scholars are mixed as to whether Peter actually wrote 1 Peter or not.  Evidence for Petrine authorship is primarily that many early Christian writers stated that Peter wrote the epistle.  There are external issues that cause some scholars to doubt its authenticity.  One primary issue is that the Greek letter is eloquent in its writing and based on the Septuagint Old Testament (LXX). Peter may have known some Greek, but would not have been as powerful in writing Greek as in Hebrew.  And it is possibly more likely he would have used a Hebrew Old Testament and personally translated it into Greek.  That the letter speaks favorably on various Pauline concepts suggests it may have been written by one of Paul’s followers.  Finally, the book is written to Gentile areas in Asia, and mentions severe trials brought on by the government.  Nero was the Caesar who executed both Paul and Peter ca 63-67 AD, but mostly focused his Christian attacks in and around Rome.  Meanwhile, Nero’s successor Domitian did seek to destroy Christians throughout the Roman Empire.

The argument for it being actually written by Peter suggests that Peter wrote it immediately after the death of Paul, with the effect of trying to keep the Church in Asia united under the direction of the apostles.

Peter notes that the epistle is written from “Babylon.”  There are three possible locations for this: Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Rome.  Most scholars believe that Peter was referring to Rome, as there are no early traditions of Peter being in Mesopotamia or in Egypt.  It is generally agreed that Peter died in Rome ca 67AD, and if he did write the epistle, it would have to have been just prior to his own death during Nero’s reign, when the Roman saints were being persecuted.  That the churches addressed were on the fringes of Paul’s influence (Paul’s followers brought the gospel to the locations) makes sense, as the Church was well established in Ephesus and other locations Paul had personally preached.

Key Teachings

Peter gives two main concepts in the epistle.  

    Faith and Sanctification

1  Pet 1-2:10 teach us regarding the key concepts behind having real faith, even through trials brought on by others   In this instance, the trials brought on by Nero and the death of Paul would have weighed heavily on the entire Church.  And it is possible that trials were being inflicted upon the newly formed churches in Asia, as they were meeting challenges by pagan worshipers in the same areas.


“ 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
“6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
“7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1)

Faith and hope cause us to anticipate the glories and rewards of the next life.  Even during our difficult trials in mortality, we can focus and even rejoice on such hope.  We learn that such trials can refine us, even as gold is refined by very intense heat.  As gold is heated, the impurities separate from the gold, and remain as slag or waste, after the purified gold has been tried by fire.

Peter speaks to the members who through their faith have been justified (made guiltless) through the blood of Christ, and now must learn to be sanctified (become holy) through the Spirit and the atonement of Christ (1 Pet 1:2).  The aspect of becoming holy through sanctification includes bearing the trials that occur, as well as learning obedience to the commands God gives us.  We are not saved by keeping the commandments.  We are, however, able to become more holy as we are sanctified, which requires us to strive ever more in the faith of Christ, and that includes learning obedience.

Peter taught that Christ was foreordained, ordained before the world was made, to accomplish his great work.  His example becomes our example to follow in faith.

 



How the Faithful Behave

The second part of 1 Peter (2:11-5:14) is a Midrash, or spiritual explanation of how we should apply Isaiah 53 into our own lives.  In that chapter, Isaiah foresaw the “Suffering Servant” Jesus Christ, who would take upon him the pains and sins of the world, and as a lamb going to the slaughter, would not cry out.


“21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
“22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
“23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
“24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
“25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Pet 2).

While through basic faith and repentance we are justified or made sinless in Christ, we have yet to be sanctified or made holy through Christ and the Holy Spirit to a greater reward in heaven.  If we seek to receive the reward given to Jesus and to sit down on his throne with him (Revelation 3:21), we must follow the path and example he gave us in mortality.  As we follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we become more holy, more like He is.  Following commandments alone cannot save nor exalt us.  But when we become holy through sanctification, we BECOME like Christ. It is in the Becoming that the Holy Spirit can then abide within us, purifying us, and making us more and more perfect in Christ.

We are not expected to sit passively through our trials.  Instead, God expects us to actively be doing good works (3:13-4:6).  As Bible.org adeptly notes: “It is one thing to suffer for simply being a Christian; it is quite another for suffering for living like a Christian before a watching world.”

 

Preaching to the Spirits in Prison

Peter speaks on an interesting concept regarding the deceased Christ’s efforts in the three days his body lay in the tomb.


“ 18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
“19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
“20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (1 Pet 3).

“ 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit” (1 Pet 4).

Here, Peter is talking about Jesus’ descending into hell, or the “harrowing of hell.”  According to the early Christian writing, the “Gospel of Nicodemus” Part II (the descent into hell), the dead were in a spirit prison, unable to escape Death.  When Jesus died, Satan came to Death and boasted about his victory over Jesus.  Death lamented, stating he did not have the power to hold such a powerful being.  Jesus soon came and broke down the doors of death, allowing the righteous from Adam on down to resurrect and enter into heaven.

This prison or hell we speak of is a portion of what is known as the Spirit World.  This is the place where the spirits of the dead await the resurrection.  One part of the Spirit World is known as Paradise, and the other as Spirit Prison or hell.  The requirement to escape hell is to be justified in Christ, or to have faith in Christ and fully repent of one’s sins.   As Peter discusses sanctification or becoming holy, our reward in heaven then is determined by our good works, and who we truly become (Christ-like or something less).  

In his three days in the Spirit World, Christ organized the righteous to preach the gospel to the wicked and those who had not yet received a chance to hear the Good News.  In 1918, President Joseph F. Smith saw in vision the Spirit World and how Christ organized the work.  He explained first seeing Paradise and the righteous awaiting the coming of Christ to save them:

“18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
19 And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.
20 But unto the wicked he did not go, and among the ungodly and the unrepentant who had defiled themselves while in the flesh, his voice was not raised;
21 Neither did the rebellious who rejected the testimonies and the warnings of the ancient prophets behold his presence, nor look upon his face.
22 Where these were, darkness reigned, but among the righteous there was peace;...
30 But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
31 And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.
32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.
33 These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit”  (D&C 138).

In this way, we see that the Almighty God has prepared a way for all mankind to hear the gospel message, believe and repent, and be saved from eternal damnation and hell.  The Jews and Gentiles that lived prior to Christ in most of the world,  the person who lived behind the atheist Iron Curtain of the 20th century, and the millions who today dwell under Islam and other non-Christian faiths; will finally have a chance to have the gospel preached to them.

This is significant.  Some Christians believe that anyone who does not accept Christ in this life will be cast into hell, regardless of the reason.  Now we know that Christ gives all mankind a chance to know Him and accept Him.  And why would he do that?

“ 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3).







Second Peter

Many scholars believe that Peter did not write 2 Peter.  It is dated anywhere from 60-160 AD for its writing, depending on just which scholar is asked.  Since Peter discusses Paul’s writings, 2 Peter could not have been written prior to 60 AD.  Even early Christian leaders, such as Origen, had some doubts as to the authenticity of 2 Peter.  Many scholars believe that it was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, for Peter states that Israel now consists of the followers of Jesus, and not the Jews, who after the Roman destruction were scattered to the winds.  According to 2 Peter, the apostle was anticipating his death: “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me” (2 Pet 1:14), and so it could not have been written much before that concluding event.  Tradition has it that the Romans chose to crucify Peter, but he asked to be crucified upside down, because he did not feel himself worthy of imitating the Lord in his own death on the cross.

Peter also makes reference to the epistle of Jude, which could not have been written any earlier than 66 AD, one year before Peter’s death, and therefore probably not giving Peter time to read it and discuss it in his own epistle.  That Peter discusses Jude’s epistle, which includes writings from Enoch which St Jerome rejected in compiling the books of the Bible, caused that it cast a questionable light on 2 Peter’s authenticity.

2 Peter is also tied closely to another ancient pseudepigraphic writing entitled the Apocalypse of Peter, which details a major revelation given to Peter.

 

Partakers of the Divine Nature
2 Peter 1:4-8

Peter begins by speaking of how we become sanctified, or made holy.  We can become “partakers of the divine nature” which literally means we can become as Christ is.  In doing so, Peter makes a list of principles of those things that can make us Christ-like, grace by grace:


“ 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”

In some Christian traditions, God is made of pure Spirit or substance that is unlike any other creation.  Some believe that nothing impure can ever become quite like God’s nature or substance.  Yet, here we are told we can partake of that divine nature, and exactly how to do it through being sanctified.  To add “godliness” means one must be god-like!  Peter shows us a path from one level of grace and goodness to the next, until we are perfected through charity/love.

In going from grace to grace, receiving grace for grace (D&C 93), we become perfected until we can receive our “calling and election made sure” (2 Pet 1:10).  It is at this point that we have achieved a level of grace and godliness through sanctification that we are promised exaltation.


 

More Sure Word of Prophecy
2 Peter 1:19-21


“19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

Peter is establishing a very important concept among those who struggle with the writings and scriptures floating around the Christian communities in his day.  There is a better way to understand prophecy than by “private interpretation.”  That method is to listen to living apostles and prophets explain the scriptures and interpret them according to the will and inspiration of God.  Perhaps this is one of the most important concepts that separates traditional Christianity from restorationist Christianity one finds in Mormonism.

There are thousands of Christian churches today because individuals have read the Bible and disagreed one with another regarding concepts and teachings therein.  Some believe baptism is necessary, others do not.  Some believe in immersion in water, while others think sprinkling or not baptism is fine.  Some believe salvation comes only through pure grace, while others believe that works is also a necessary component.  Some believe in free will, while others teach predestination.  The American Baptist church was torn in half over the issue of slavery in 1845. Today, many churches are divided over abortion and issues of sexuality..  

With modern prophets and apostles, modern witnesses of the resurrected Christ, even as Peter was an ancient witness of the resurrected Christ, we have inspired men who can give us a God-approved interpretation of scripture.

Peter states later in chapter 3:

“15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

That Paul’s writings have long been a point of major disagreement in the Christian Church is well noted even in Peter’s day.  For those who seek a personal interpretation of the scriptures, without guidance of modern prophets to clarify the will and mind of God is to risk wresting the scriptures onto our own destruction.

Peter even notes that some scoff at the scripture because they do not heed the prophets or apostles:

“ 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet 3).

Peter noted that there would be scoffers in the “last days” prior to the Second Coming.  Sadly, his prophecy has come true in the modern age.  Today, we have many Christians and their pastors who do not believe in the Second Coming of Christ.  For example, retired Episcopalian Bishop John Spong wrote and spoke for years on his version of Christianity, questioning the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, insisted miracles do not happen, nor is there a physical resurrection, etc.  

Yet, we have living prophets and apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who proclaim the divinity of Christ today.  They are called as “special witnesses of Jesus Christ.”  In his day, the Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed,

“ 19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.
20 And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” (D&C 76:19-24).

The living prophets and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ have also born their modern witness of the Lord in the “Living Christ, a Proclamation.”


 

Bibliography

First Peter - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Epistle_of_Peter

First Peter - bible.org: http://bible.org/seriespage/first-peter-introduction-argument-and-outline

Gospel of Nicodemus: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/gospelnicodemus.html

Second Peter - wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_epistle_of_peter

Second Peter - Early Christian Writings: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2peter.html

Second Peter - bible.org: http://bible.org/seriespage/second-peter-introduction-argument-and-outline

Peter’s Death: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Peter#Death

The Living Christ, a Proclamation from the living prophets and apostles:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2000/04/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints?lang=eng
  Dreamworks' animated feature The Prince of Egypt, is capture elegantly on this compelling storybook.
          

Saint-Louis en Egypte

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Egyptian human rights defender Ibrahim Ezz-Eldin reappears after 167 days

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Egyptian researcher Ibrahim Ezz-Eldin [Twitter] On 27 November 2019 the Middle East Monitor reports that after 167 days of forcible disappearance housing researcher Ibrahim Ezz-Eldin has appeared in the Supreme State Security Prosecution. Ezz-Eldin was kidnapped by plain clothes police officers on 12 June this year near his home in Moqattam. When his family and […]
          

Egypt’s VRapeutic is using virtual reality to tackle learning difficulties

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  Launched in 2017 by Ahmad Al-Kabbany, who researched VR for his PhD in electrical engineering, VRapeutic designs 3D virtual environments that are especially tailored to instill diverse life skills in children, including social, cognitive, motor, and academic skills. The startup delivers VR software modules, installed on VR headsets, to therapy centres, with a child then watching […]

The post Egypt’s VRapeutic is using virtual reality to tackle learning difficulties appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt’s Monorail assembly project begins June: Bombardier Transportation

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  Egyptian Transport Minister Kamel al-Wazir met Friday with officials from the Bombardier company, headed by the President of Bombardier Transportation’s UK Region Matt Byrne, to discuss the latest developments related to the monorail projects in the New Administrative Capital and 6th of October City. Byrne said that the main components for both projects will […]

The post Egypt’s Monorail assembly project begins June: Bombardier Transportation appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt, Cyprus, Greece says Libyan-Turkish maritime MoUs “has no legal effect”

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  Egypt, Cyprus and Greece announced, Tuesday that the two security cooperation and maritime MoUs signed by Turkey and Libya’s UN-backed government, “has no legal effect”. According to Egypt’s spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez, Minster Sameh Shoukry called both of his Greek and Cypriot counterparts discussing the newly signed MoUs. The statement added […]

The post Egypt, Cyprus, Greece says Libyan-Turkish maritime MoUs “has no legal effect” appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egyptian journalists, lawyer charged with ‘joining terror group’

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  A pair of Egyptian journalists and a lawyer are facing charges of joining a “terrorist group,” their lawyer confirmed Thursday, after they were detained amid a string of similar arrests. Security forces detained husband and wife Hossam El-Sayed and Solafa Magdy, as well as lawyer Mohamed Salah, from a Cairo cafe on Tuesday. Nabeeh […]

The post Egyptian journalists, lawyer charged with ‘joining terror group’ appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt Needs to Free Its Construction Industry From the Army’s Stranglehold

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  Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi clearly understood the significance of the articles about corruption in the Egyptian army written by the former military contractor and actor Mohamed Ali. Anti-regime demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria in September in response to the articles have faded, and since then Sissi has sought to expedite passage of legislation on construction […]

The post Egypt Needs to Free Its Construction Industry From the Army’s Stranglehold appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt: Archeologists find 3,500-year-old wooden coffins

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  Three people, at least two of them women, were buried in the city of Luxor some 3,500 years ago. A team of French archeologists has discovered their coffins in the necropolis of al-Asasif, complete with original paint. Egyptian authorities on Wednesday confirmed the latest archeological discovery to come from the ancient city of Luxor— three […]

The post Egypt: Archeologists find 3,500-year-old wooden coffins appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt military court sentences notorious militant to death over Farafra massacre

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  The Military Criminal Court sentenced Hesham Ali Ashmawy, one of Egypt’s most notorious militants, to death by hanging on Wednesday after he was convicted of 14 crimes related to the 2014 Farafra terrorist attack and other militant activities.  Ashmawy headed the Ansar Beit al-Maqdes militant group based in the North Sinai Peninsula and was […]

The post Egypt military court sentences notorious militant to death over Farafra massacre appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Egypt appoints new governors, ‘anticipates cabinet reshuffle’

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  Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi yesterday appointed 16 new provisional governors and 23 deputies, including the governors of the coastal cities of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh. Local media reported that 11 of the new governors held senior security or army roles prior to their appointment. Youm7 quoted official sources as saying that the move had […]

The post Egypt appoints new governors, ‘anticipates cabinet reshuffle’ appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Christian activist’s arrest in Egypt prompts warnings of crackdown on dissent

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  Human rights groups have voiced concern over the arrest of a Coptic Christian activist in Egypt, on terrorism-related charges. Critics argue the arrest is an attempt to silence those who disagree with the government. Ramy Kamel, founder of the human rights organization Maspero Youth Union, was arrested on Saturday by seven police officers. He […]

The post Christian activist’s arrest in Egypt prompts warnings of crackdown on dissent appeared first on Cairo Herald.


          

Vánoční slavnost (nejen) pro děti

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15. 12. 19 v 15:00 – 17:00, Jihlava - fara ČCE
Předvánoční slavnost s vánouční hrou v podání dětí a s ochutnávkou všeličeho dobrého... Letošní vánoční hra se jmenuje Zpráva z uprchlického tábora v Dolním Egyptě, navazuje na začátek Evangelia podle Matouše a napsal ji farář Petr Firbas (a my jsme si ji upravili pro jihlavské potřeby). Zveme vás!
          

Guest Column: Lawmakers use campaign funds for foreign trips

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As many as 17 S.C. lawmakers traveled to Egypt last month, most of them paying their way with campaign funds, State Ethics Commission records show.
Two legislators who used campaign money for the trip – Reps. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, and John King, D-York – also tapped their campaign accounts for costs related to trips to Greece and Peru, respectively, according to their latest expense statements.

          

Stater försöker kontrollera protester: ”Lätt att dölja förbrytelser när internet stängs”

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Iran, Egypten, Irak och Turkiet. I en rad länder har regeringen stängt ner internet helt eller delvis.
          

Fellah Souvenir D Egypte Edmond

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Fellah Souvenir D Egypte Edmond
          

اصلاح ثلاجة توشيبا 01223179993 | 0235700997 toshiba egypt

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الافضل ل صيانة توشيبا ( مصر ) 0235700994...
          

2019-P $2 Tuvalu Golden Treasures of Ancient Egypt PCGS MS70 First Strike

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$139.00
End Date: Friday Dec-27-2019 19:31:48 PST
Buy It Now for only: $139.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

          

2019-P $2 Tuvalu Golden Treasures of Ancient Egypt PCGS MS69 First Strike

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$107.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Monday Dec-2-2019 19:37:12 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

          

BSU Named One of Nation’s Most “Green” Colleges for Third Consecutive Year

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Bemidji State was listed among the top 413 environmentally responsible colleges in the country by The Princeton Review. This list reflected U.S. colleges and universities, but also included 16 colleges in Canada, one in Egypt, and one in Greece.
          

Jan 01, Sudan: Independence Day

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Marks Sudan's independence from Egypt and Britain in 1956. For more information on this holiday, visit the link.
          

The death of James Le Mesurier

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The death of former British intelligence officer turned humanitarian activist, James Le Mesurier, still raises many questions among the international and intelligence communities. The co-founder of the controversial "White-Helmets" (also known as Syrian Civil Defense) was found dead on November 11th near his apartment in central Istanbul's Beyoğlu neighbourhood at around 4.30am. Turkish media reports said he was found with fractures to his head and legs and appeared to have fallen from a balcony. Two days later the Turkish authorities revealed that none of the acquired elements could lead to a homicide-hypothesis. The dynamics of the accident recall the one of Ashraf Marwan, the Egyptian double agent who worked for Egypt and Israel during the Yom Kippur war and who was found dead on June 27th 2007 after falling from the balcony of his fifth-floor apartment in London. On April 29th 2014 another "accident" occurred in Cairo when 31-year old Egyptian journalist and  civil rights activist Bassem Sabry fell from the balcony of a Giza apartment complex, dying on the spot.  A series of deaths that add up to previous other cases occurred in the 1970's such as the ones regarding Egyptian ambassador to Britain, General Leithy Nassif, who also fell from a balcony in London and the case of Ali Shafik, an alleged arms dealer and secretary in the office of former Egyptian Vice President Abdel Hakim Amer.
          

Govt to import onion from Turkey, Egypt to control skyrocketing prices

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Govt to import onion from Turkey, Egypt to control skyrocketing prices
          

DAAD: German Egyptian Research Short-Term Scholarship Program (GERSS) 2020 for Egyptian Students

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DAAD Scholarship

The GERSS scholarships offer young Egyptian scientists and academics the opportunity to travel to Germany. The scholarship shall enable advanced graduate students and young scientists to pursue part of their master’s, doctoral or post-doctoral research in a specific research project at German universities, archives, libraries or research institutes. Application Deadline: 30th November 2019 Offered Annually? Yes Eligible […]

After School Africa


          

3rd UfM Regional Meeting on Higher Education Internationalisation

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The post 3rd UfM Regional Meeting on Higher Education Internationalisation appeared first on Union for the Mediterranean - UfM.

Cairo, 1 December. This meeting is jointly organized by the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt. It will bring together representatives from Ministries of Higher Education of UfM Member States, key regional and international partner organizations, higher education institutions and relevant regional
Read more

The post 3rd UfM Regional Meeting on Higher Education Internationalisation appeared first on Union for the Mediterranean - UfM.


          

Uuden Nokia-peruspuhelinmallin tiedot ja kuvat paljastuivat viranomaistietokannasta

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Nokia-puhelinyhtiö HMD Global julkistaa ainakin yhden uuden Nokia-puhelinmallin 5. joulukuuta Egyptin Kairossa järjestettävässä tilaisuudessa. Vahvin veikkaus tulevaksi julkistukseksi on edullinen Nokia 2.3 -älypuhelinmalli.

HMD:lta ... Lue lisää


          

Mazaher

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söndag 5 april 18.00
konsert
De sista Zar-utövarna i Egypten

Köp biljett


          

Российские специалисты могут проверить аэропорты Египта до конца года

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Специалисты РФ могут проверить аэропорты Египта до конца года

Российские специалисты могут проверить аэропорты Египта на безопасность до конца 2019 года. Об этом сообщил заместитель главы МИД РФ Михаил Богданов.

 

 

«До конца года российские специалисты могут проверить аэропорты Египта для подтверждения безопасности. Надо решить необходимые проблемы для того, чтобы как можно скорее возобновить рейсы в Хургаду и Шарм-эш-Шейх», — сообщил он, передают «РИА Новости».

Кроме того, отмечается, что египетская сторона изучает предложения России по усилению безопасности воздушных гаваней и подготовят ответ.

Напомним, власти России пока не торопятся снимать запреты на полеты в Египет. Глава Минтранса РФ завил, что прямое авиасообщение с курортами Египта вряд ли возобновится до конца 2019 года.

Материал подготовлен редакцией www.trn-news.ru


          

До конца года Египет планирует восстановить турпоток до уровня 2010 года

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Египет планирует восстановить турпоток до уровня 2010 года

До конца года Египет планирует восстановить зарубежный турпоток до показателей 9-летней давности.

 

 

Как сообщают местные СМИ, ссылаясь на данные министерства туризма АРЕ, в 2019 году страна увеличила турпоток на 11% (до 12 млн. прибытий), а доходы от туротрасли выросли на 28% ($12,5 млрд).

В тоже время министр туризма Рания Аль-Машат отметила, что Египет постепенно восстанавливает турпоток. Средняя загрузка отелей на побережье Красного моря также выросла и достигла 75%.

«К концу 2019 году мы рассчитываем восстановить турпоток до показателей 2010 года», — сказала она.

Также отмечается, что увеличить турпоток удалось благодаря тому, что Великобритания сняла запрет на прямые коммерческие перелеты в Шарм-Эль-Шейх.

Напомним, власти России пока не торопятся снимать запреты на полеты в Египет. Глава Минтранса РФ завил, что прямое авиасообщение с курортами Египта вряд ли возобновится до конца 2019 года.

Материал подготовлен редакцией www.trn-news.ru


          

Des Codes Secrets De L Egypte Des Pharaons A L Ordinateur Quantique Simon

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Des Codes Secrets De L Egypte Des Pharaons A L Ordinateur Quantique Simon
          

Ramses Shaffy vandaag tien jaar geleden overleden: 'Hij was bloedorigineel'

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Vandaag is het precies tien jaar geleden dat acteur, zanger en levenskunstenaar Ramses Shaffy overleed. Tot op de dag van vandaag is hij een grote inspiratiebron voor veel artiesten.  'Hij was bloedorigineel, met een bewonderenswaardige levenslust', zeiden collega's Louis van Dijk en Huub van der Lubbe over hem vlak na zijn dood. Een compilatie met uniek materiaal van, met en over één van de meest bijzondere Amsterdammers van de afgelopen decennia. 

'Als die man een podium opliep, was de zaal meteen gevuld met dezelfde soort prikkelende energie die Jacques Brel ook had', zei Louis van Dijk over Ramses. De inmiddels 78-jarige pianist sprak met veel liefde en bewondering over de jaren '60 toen hij met het ensemble Shaffy Chantant optrad, waarbij hij Ramses Shaffy en Liesbeth List begeleidde op de piano.

'Het materiaal was van een ongelooflijk kracht en een verschrikkelijke gedrevenheid, doordat hij zo ontzettend geloofde in zichzelf. Het spatte er van af. Hij was bloedorigineel, er was niemand die zo schreef. '

Levensloop

Ramses Shaffy werd geboren in 1933 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, in het huidige Parijs als zoon van een Egyptische consul en Poolse moeder van Russische afkomst. Toen hij 7 jaar werd zette zijn moeder hem op de trein naar Nederland waar hij via een tante terechtkwam in een kindertehuis en later in een pleeggezin.  

In 1952 werd hij aangenomen op de Amsterdamse toneelschool en speelde hij bij de Nederlandse Comedie in de stadsschouwburg aan het Leidseplein. In 1964 richtte hij het ensemble Shaffy Chantant op en maakte Ramses ook carrière als zanger. Vele hits volgden zoals 'Sammy' en 'Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder'.

Shaffy woonde in de Weteringbuurt en speelde vanaf begin jaren '80 ook weer als acteur bij Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Kort na de eeuwwisseling werd hij opgenomen in het Dr. Sarphatihuis in de Plantagebuurt. Hij leed aan Korsakov door zijn langdurige overmatige alcoholgebruik. Toch trad hij vanaf 2005 af en toe weer op met de band Alderliefste, ook samen met Liesbeth List. Ze scoorden opnieuw een hit met 'Laat me'.

Zanger en acteur Huub van der Lubbe bewondert Ramses Shaffy al van kinds af aan. 'Hij had een stem die iedereen onmiddellijk over de streep haalde, daar kon je niet anders dan van houden', vertelde van der Lubbe kort na het overlijden van Shaffy aan AT5. 'Er zat nooit enige twijfel bij hem. Wat Ramses deed sloeg over van generatie op generatie en op allerlei soorten mensen. Daarin was hij heel bijzonder. Hij was behoorlijk gul, ook voor zichzelf en dat is een manier van leven die er wel toe doet.'

Eind jaren '90 sprak AT5 Ramses Shaffy over het ouder worden. De zanger en acteur was anders tegen de liefde aan gaan kijken. 'In plaats van puur 'sexual' word je meer 'sensual', zei Shaffy. Op de vraag of het leuker wordt, antwoordde hij: 'Nee het is gewoon zoals het leven gaat.'

'Shaffy heeft een prachtig oeuvre nagelaten', vindt Huub van der Lubbe. 'Hij had een groot aura van liefde om hem heen en een bewonderenswaardige levenslust.'


          

Paris : L'Obélisque de Louxor place de la Concorde, plus vieux monument de Paris, souvenirs d'un incroyable périple depuis l'Egypte - VIIIème

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L’Obélisque de Louxor, plus vieux monument de Paris, domine de ses trente-trois siècles élégants la place de la Concorde. Erigé le 25 octobre 1836, classé au titre des monuments historiques en 1936, le périple rocambolesque qui l’a conduit en France depuis l’Egypte, sa terre natale, alimente encore la légende. Son histoire débute à Thèbes en 1250 avant JC. L’Obélisque en granit rose d’Assouan est dressé avec son double devant le temple de Louxor construit sous Aménophis III. Hommage au dieu Amon, le monolithe, 229 tonnes, et 23 mètres de hauteur, symbolise un rayon de soleil. Au centre de la place de la Concorde, il marque de son ombre les déplacements du soleil, gnomon d’un cadran solaire identifié au sol par des incrustations de métal.









Sous la Restauration (1814-1830), Louis XVIII (1755-1824) entame des négociations en vue d'acquérir l'un des obélisques de Thoutmosis III appelés "aiguilles de Cléopâtre". La disparition du souverain marque la fin de ses tractations. En 1828, le wali Méhmet Ali, vice-roi d’Egypte, propose d’offrir ces deux obélisques d’Alexandrie l’un à la France le second à l’Angleterre. Charles X (1757-1836) roi de France de 1824 à 1830, se laisse convaincre par Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832) de porter son choix sur ceux de Louxor plus prestigieux, mieux conservés. Considéré comme le père de l’égyptologie, déchiffreur des hiéroglyphes en 1822, Champollion est tombé en admiration devant les deux monolithes lors de son unique mission scientifique en Egypte entre 1828 et 1829. Du reste, il ne veut pas que la France se fasse doubler par les Anglais sur le plan des acquisitions majeures. Il propose la somme de 300 000 francs afin d’assurer le transport.

Geste d’amitié ou cadeau forcé sur l’insistance du consul général de France en Egypte, le gouvernement égyptien valide le « don » par l'intermédiaire de son ministre Boghoz Joussouf. Officiellement, il s’agit de remercier l’aide des ingénieurs français dans la modernisation du pays et de renforcer les liens entre l’Egypte et l’Europe. Le baron Taylor mandaté par Charles X arrive à Alexandrie en 1830 pour négocier et conclure la transaction. La somme de 300 000 francs mentionnée par Jean-François Champollion est finalement versée. Il est alors chargé par le roi de déterminer quel obélisque rejoindra en premier la France. Champollion choisit "le plus occidental, celui de droite en entrant dans le palais. Le pyramidion a un peu souffert, il est vrai, mais le corps entier de cet obélisque est intact, et d'une admirable conservation, tandis que l'obélisque de gauche, comme je m'en suis convaincu par des fouilles, a éprouvé une grande fracture vers la base".











Au lendemain de la révolution de juillet 1830, malgré les bouleversements politiques, le plus petit des deux obélisques de Louxor est destiné à rejoindre Paris. L’ingénieur Apollinaire Lebas (1797-1873) dirige les opérations d’un périple des plus hasardeux qui durera 7 ans et s’étendra sur plus de 9 000 km. Un bateau à fond plat capable de supporter un chargement de cette envergure et de ce poids, Le Luxor, un trois-mâts, est construit dans les arsenaux de Toulon. Selon les paramètres techniques particuliers, il peut naviguer sur le Nil et la Seine ainsi qu’en haute mer à travers la Méditerranée et l’Atlantique. Il doit aussi être en mesure de passer sous les ponts de Paris. Commandée par Raymond de Verninac Saint-Maur, la barge est lancée en avril 1831. 

Les plans pour l'abattage de l’obélisque sont établis par Armand Florimond Mimerel, ingénieur de la Marine. Après avoir rasé une quarantaine de maisons et creusé une sorte de canal afin de rapprocher le bateau le plus près possible, un chemin est tracé jusqu’au Nil. L’Obélisque déposé à Thèbes en octobre 1831 est traîné sur 400 mètres jusqu’au fleuve. Il est difficilement embarqué sur le bateau dont l’avant doit être démonté pour permettre le chargement avant d’être remonté. Le chargement est prêt dès novembre mais l’équipage doit attendre la crue jusqu’en août 1832 pour remonter du temple de Louxor à l’embouchure du Nil située à 700km en amont.

A Alexandrie, une corvette à voile et à vapeur, le Sphinx prend le relai pour remorquer le Luxor en haute mer. La cargaison quitte l’Egypte en avril 1833, traverse la Méditerranée et fait une première escale à Rhodes, puis Corfou. Toulon, est atteint dans la nuit du 10 au 11 mai 1833 après 40 jours de navigation. Ce sera ensuit Gibraltar et la Corogne. Le Luxor arrive enfin à Cherbourg passe par Le Havre et Rouen. Il remonte la Seine halé par des chevaux jusqu’au pont de la Concorde auquel il accède le 23 décembre 1833. L’ingénieur Lebas chargé du convoyage conclut son périple ainsi : "Rapportera qui voudra le deuxième, mais ce ne sera pas moi."


Entrée Temple d'Amon à Louxor avec ses deux obélisques
 (RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Les frères Chuzeville)

Vue de l'abattage de l'obélisque dans Campagne du Luxor (1835)
Estampe, 1831, Léon de Joannis © A. Fux Musée national de la Marine

Place Louis XV, simulacre de l'Obélisque 1833
Crédit Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Erection de l'Obélisque de Louxor 25 octobre 1836
Détails d'une aquarelle par Cayrac
Dépôt du Musée du Louvre - Musée national de la Marine

Érection de l'obélisque de Louxor sur la place de la Concorde
le 25 octobre 1836, par François Dubois (1790-1871)

L’Obélisque n’est cependant érigé sur la place de la Concorde que trois ans plus tard. Un long débat national sur le lieu où placer ce monument est doublé par un scandale puritain. Louis-Philippe trouve obscène les dessins du socle, représentant des babouins debout sur leurs pattes arrière et levant les bras pour honorer le soleil, anatomie mâle fièrement exposée propre à choquer les âmes prudes de l’époque. Une nouvelle base moins suggestive est commandée tandis que celle d’origine rejoint les collections du Louvre

Le piédestal se compose de cinq blocs de granit rose issus des carrières de l'Aber-Ildut, en Bretagne. Sur deux des faces sont représentées les longues tribulations de l’Obélisque depuis l’Egypte, abattage, transport et le remontage. Les deux autres portent des inscriptions qui rappellent le patronage du projet par Louis Philippe et font allusion à l'engagement de la France en Egypte depuis Napoléon Ier.

Le 25 octobre 1836, l’Obélisque est enfin érigé sur la place de la Concorde. Fête populaire et événement mondain, la prouesse technique orchestrée par Apollinaire Lebas se déroule sous l’œil curieux de 200 000 personnes. Pour dresser le monolithe de 230 tonnes en position verticale, un appareil de levage exceptionnel a été construit. Il compte dix cabestans actionnés par trois cents cinquante artilleurs et marins. Lebas dirige la manœuvre dans l’ombre du monolithe. Si l’érection faillit, il ne doit pas survivre. Question d’honneur. Apprécions un instant le symbole... En milieu d’après-midi, l’Obélisque de Louxor trouve finalement sa position verticale définitive.








En 1845, Louis-Philippe offre à l’Egypte, en retour des deux obélisques, une horloge en cuivre qui orne aujourd'hui la citadelle du Caire. Endommagée lors de la livraison, elle n’a jamais fonctionné. En raison des immenses difficultés rencontrées à l’occasion du voyage du monolithe et du coût financier astronomique, 1 million de francs de l’époque, le second obélisque ne sera jamais déplacé. En 1981, le président François Mitterrand le rend symboliquement et officiellement à l’Egypte. 

Sous le pyramidion, le pharaon Ramsès II présente sur les quatre faces des offrandes au soleil, Amon Ré. Chacune est gravé de la titulature royale de Ramsès II, ces noms et titres royaux, nombreux cartouches. Sur la colonne centrale de la face Nord, se trouve une prière dédiée au dieu Horus :  "L'Horus, Taureau puissant aimé de Maât. Les Deux Maîtresses, protecteur de l'Égypte, victorieux des pays étrangers. L'Horus d'or, riche d'années, grand de victoires. Le Roi de Haute et Basse Égypte, Ouser Maât Rê Setepenrê, souverain des souverains, qu'a engendré Atoum, d'une seule chair avec lui, pour créer sa royauté sur terre éternellement, pour doter le domaine d'Amon de vivres. Il l'a fait pour lui le fils de Rê Ramsès Méryimen, puisse-t-il vivre éternellement."

En mai 1998, à l'initiative de l'égyptologue Christiane Desroches Noblecourt et après de vastes tergiversations, le sommet de l’obélisque, abimé lors des longs mois en mer est doté d’un pyramidion, une coiffe étincelante de 3,60 m de haut, en bronze recouvert de feuilles d'or, dont la teinte se rapproche de celle de l'électrum employé dans l'ancienne Égypte. Il remplace une coiffe sommitale ultérieure volée lors d'invasions dans la vallée du Nil au VIème siècle.

Obélisque de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde - Paris 8

Bibliographie
Le guide du patrimoine Paris - sous la direction de Jean-Marie Pérouse - Hachette
Le guide du promeneur 8è arrondissement - Philippe Sorel - Parigramme
Curiosités de Paris - Dominique Lesbros - Parigramme

Sites référents



          

High School Social Studies Teacher - Egypt - Egypt

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High School Social Studies Teacher, Cairo, Egypt - ASAP or January 2020 Curriculum: US Common Core Salary: £23,000+ Tax Free Experience: 3 years Sponsorship: Single or Married Teaching Couples Contract: Two Year Renewable School Ethos: To prepare students for life, and provide academic and social ...
          

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Weekly IntSum 30MAR2017

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Personnel flying commercial aviation from the following countries into the United States and the United Kingdom are now required to secure all personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone in their checked baggage. Approved medical devices are not effected by this. The countries in question are:-Saudi Arabia-Qatar-Jordan-Egypt-United Arab Emirates-Kuwait-Turkey-Lebanon-Tunisia-MoroccoThis restriction is believed to be based off of intelligence gained during a raid by US Special Operations [...]
          

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Ν. Δένδιας: Ολοκληρώθηκε η συνάντησή του με τον Σ. Σούκρι

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Ν. Δένδιας: Ολοκληρώθηκε η συνάντησή του με τον Σ. Σούκρι
Ν. Δένδιας: Ολοκληρώθηκε η συνάντησή του με τον Σ. Σούκρι
01/12/2019 - 14:02

Στις 12 το μεσημέρι ξεκίνησε η συνάντηση του υπουργού Εξωτερικών, Νίκου Δένδια με τον Αιγύπτιο ομόλογό του, Σάμεχ Σούκρι, στο Κάιρο, όπου του επεφύλαξε θερμή υποδοχή.

Έπειτα από την κατ' ιδίαν συνάντηση τους που διήρκεσε 45 λεπτά, ακολούθησαν διευρυμένες συνομιλίες μεταξύ των αντιπροσωπειών των δύο χωρών.


Ερχόμενος στο Κάιρο, ο επικεφαλής της ελληνικής διπλωματίας τόνισε μέσα από τον προσωπικό του λογαριασμό στο Twitter ότι θα έχει συνομιλίες με τον Αιγύπτιο ομόλογό του, Sameh Shoukry, για τις εξελίξεις στην ανατολική Μεσόγειο και την υπογραφή μνημονίου κατανόησης μεταξύ Τουρκίας και Λιβύης.


Τον υπουργό Εξωτερικών της Ελλάδας συνοδεύουν ο Γενικός Γραμματέας του ΥΠΕΞ κ. Θεμιστοκλής Δεμίρης, ο Πολιτικός Δ/ντής Κυριάκος Λουκάκης, ο Έλληνας Πρέσβης στο Κάιρο Νίκος Γαριλίδης, ο Δ/ντής του διπλωματικού γραφείου του υπουργού κ. Γιάννης Τσαούσης και ο εκπρόσωπος Τύπου του ΥΠΕΞ Αλέξανδρος Γεννηματάς.


Θα ακολουθήσει γεύμα εργασίας των δύο αντιπροσωπειών.

Ο κ. Δένδιας θα επιστρέψει το απόγευμα στην Αθήνα. 


          

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Tonight we gather to do as the people of God have done for millennia. We come together to tell our family stories. These are the stories that make us who we are. Tonight we begin with the story of Passover. We hear how God chose to save us from slavery in Egypt and bring us […]

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In the Jewish ritual of Passover, a boy asks the father leading the meal a famous question, “Why is this night different from every other night?” The father is to reply with the story of the first Passover… “Because on this night God saved our ancestor from slavery in Egypt…” The angel of death passed over […]

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Lettera Apostolica Admirabile signum del Santo Padre Francesco sul significato e il valore del Presepe

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Lettera Apostolica del Santo Padre

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Lettera Apostolica del Santo Padre

LETTERA APOSTOLICA Admirabile signum DEL SANTO PADRE FRANCESCO SUL SIGNIFICATO E IL VALORE DEL PRESEPE

1. Il mirabile segno del presepe, così caro al popolo cristiano, suscita sempre stupore e meraviglia. Rappresentare l’evento della nascita di Gesù equivale ad annunciare il mistero dell’Incarnazione del Figlio di Dio con semplicità e gioia. Il presepe, infatti, è come un Vangelo vivo, che trabocca dalle pagine della Sacra Scrittura. Mentre contempliamo la scena del Natale, siamo invitati a metterci spiritualmente in cammino, attratti dall’umiltà di Colui che si è fatto uomo per incontrare ogni uomo. E scopriamo che Egli ci ama a tal punto da unirsi a noi, perché anche noi possiamo unirci a Lui.

Con questa Lettera vorrei sostenere la bella tradizione delle nostre famiglie, che nei giorni precedenti il Natale preparano il presepe. Come pure la consuetudine di allestirlo nei luoghi di lavoro, nelle scuole, negli ospedali, nelle carceri, nelle piazze... È davvero un esercizio di fantasia creativa, che impiega i materiali più disparati per dare vita a piccoli capolavori di bellezza. Si impara da bambini: quando papà e mamma, insieme ai nonni, trasmettono questa gioiosa abitudine, che racchiude in sé una ricca spiritualità popolare. Mi auguro che questa pratica non venga mai meno; anzi, spero che, là dove fosse caduta in disuso, possa essere riscoperta e rivitalizzata.

2. L’origine del presepe trova riscontro anzitutto in alcuni dettagli evangelici della nascita di Gesù a Betlemme. L’Evangelista Luca dice semplicemente che Maria «diede alla luce il suo figlio primogenito, lo avvolse in fasce e lo pose in una mangiatoia, perché per loro non c’era posto nell’alloggio» (2,7). Gesù viene deposto in una mangiatoia, che in latino si dice praesepium , da cui presepe .

Entrando in questo mondo, il Figlio di Dio trova posto dove gli animali vanno a mangiare. Il fieno diventa il primo giaciglio per Colui che si rivelerà come «il pane disceso dal cielo» ( Gv 6,41). Una simbologia che già Sant’Agostino, insieme ad altri Padri, aveva colto quando scriveva: «Adagiato in una mangiatoia, divenne nostro cibo» ( Serm . 189,4). In realtà, il presepe contiene diversi misteri della vita di Gesù e li fa sentire vicini alla nostra vita quotidiana.

Ma veniamo subito all’origine del presepe come noi lo intendiamo. Ci rechiamo con la mente a Greccio, nella Valle Reatina, dove San Francesco si fermò venendo probabilmente da Roma, dove il 29 novembre 1223 aveva ricevuto dal Papa Onorio III la conferma della sua Regola. Dopo il suo viaggio in Terra Santa, quelle grotte gli ricordavano in modo particolare il paesaggio di Betlemme. Ed è possibile che il Poverello fosse rimasto colpito, a Roma, nella Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, dai mosaici con la rappresentazione della nascita di Gesù, proprio accanto al luogo dove si conservavano, secondo un’antica tradizione, le tavole della mangiatoia.

Le Fonti Francescane raccontano nei particolari cosa avvenne a Greccio. Quindici giorni prima di Natale, Francesco chiamò un uomo del posto, di nome Giovanni, e lo pregò di aiutarlo nell’attuare un desiderio: «Vorrei rappresentare il Bambino nato a Betlemme, e in qualche modo vedere con gli occhi del corpo i disagi in cui si è trovato per la mancanza delle cose necessarie a un neonato, come fu adagiato in una greppia e come giaceva sul fieno tra il bue e l’asinello». [1] Appena l’ebbe ascoltato, il fedele amico andò subito ad approntare sul luogo designato tutto il necessario, secondo il desiderio del Santo. Il 25 dicembre giunsero a Greccio molti frati da varie parti e arrivarono anche uomini e donne dai casolari della zona, portando fiori e fiaccole per illuminare quella santa notte. Arrivato Francesco, trovò la greppia con il fieno, il bue e l’asinello. La gente accorsa manifestò una gioia indicibile, mai assaporata prima, davanti alla scena del Natale. Poi il sacerdote, sulla mangiatoia, celebrò solennemente l’Eucaristia, mostrando il legame tra l’Incarnazione del Figlio di Dio e l’Eucaristia. In quella circostanza, a Greccio, non c’erano statuine: il presepe fu realizzato e vissuto da quanti erano presenti. [2]

È così che nasce la nostra tradizione: tutti attorno alla grotta e ricolmi di gioia, senza più alcuna distanza tra l’evento che si compie e quanti diventano partecipi del mistero.

Il primo biografo di San Francesco, Tommaso da Celano, ricorda che quella notte, alla scena semplice e toccante s’aggiunse anche il dono di una visione meravigliosa: uno dei presenti vide giacere nella mangiatoia Gesù Bambino stesso. Da quel presepe del Natale 1223, «ciascuno se ne tornò a casa sua pieno di ineffabile gioia». [3]

3. San Francesco, con la semplicità di quel segno, realizzò una grande opera di evangelizzazione. Il suo insegnamento è penetrato nel cuore dei cristiani e permane fino ai nostri giorni come una genuina forma per riproporre la bellezza della nostra fede con semplicità. D’altronde, il luogo stesso dove si realizzò il primo presepe esprime e suscita questi sentimenti. Greccio diventa un rifugio per l’anima che si nasconde sulla roccia per lasciarsi avvolgere nel silenzio.

Perché il presepe suscita tanto stupore e ci commuove? Anzitutto perché manifesta la tenerezza di Dio. Lui, il Creatore dell’universo, si abbassa alla nostra piccolezza. Il dono della vita, già misterioso ogni volta per noi, ci affascina ancora di più vedendo che Colui che è nato da Maria è la fonte e il sostegno di ogni vita. In Gesù, il Padre ci ha dato un fratello che viene a cercarci quando siamo disorientati e perdiamo la direzione; un amico fedele che ci sta sempre vicino; ci ha dato il suo Figlio che ci perdona e ci risolleva dal peccato.

Comporre il presepe nelle nostre case ci aiuta a rivivere la storia che si è vissuta a Betlemme. Naturalmente, i Vangeli rimangono sempre la fonte che permette di conoscere e meditare quell’Avvenimento; tuttavia, la sua rappresentazione nel presepe aiuta ad immaginare le scene, stimola gli affetti, invita a sentirsi coinvolti nella storia della salvezza, contemporanei dell’evento che è vivo e attuale nei più diversi contesti storici e culturali.

In modo particolare, fin dall’origine francescana il presepe è un invito a “sentire”, a “toccare” la povertà che il Figlio di Dio ha scelto per sé nella sua Incarnazione. E così, implicitamente, è un appello a seguirlo sulla via dell’umiltà, della povertà, della spogliazione, che dalla mangiatoia di Betlemme conduce alla Croce. È un appello a incontrarlo e servirlo con misericordia nei fratelli e nelle sorelle più bisognosi (cfr Mt 25,31-46).

4. Mi piace ora passare in rassegna i vari segni del presepe per cogliere il senso che portano in sé. In primo luogo, rappresentiamo il contesto del cielo stellato nel buio e nel silenzio della notte. Non è solo per fedeltà ai racconti evangelici che lo facciamo così, ma anche per il significato che possiede. Pensiamo a quante volte la notte circonda la nostra vita. Ebbene, anche in quei momenti, Dio non ci lascia soli, ma si fa presente per rispondere alle domande decisive che riguardano il senso della nostra esistenza: chi sono io? Da dove vengo? Perché sono nato in questo tempo? Perché amo? Perché soffro? Perché morirò? Per dare una risposta a questi interrogativi Dio si è fatto uomo. La sua vicinanza porta luce dove c’è il buio e rischiara quanti attraversano le tenebre della sofferenza (cfr Lc 1,79).

Una parola meritano anche i paesaggi che fanno parte del presepe e che spesso rappresentano le rovine di case e palazzi antichi, che in alcuni casi sostituiscono la grotta di Betlemme e diventano l’abitazione della Santa Famiglia. Queste rovine sembra che si ispirino alla Legenda Aurea del domenicano Jacopo da Varazze (secolo XIII), dove si legge di una credenza pagana secondo cui il tempio della Pace a Roma sarebbe crollato quando una Vergine avesse partorito. Quelle rovine sono soprattutto il segno visibile dell’umanità decaduta, di tutto ciò che va in rovina, che è corrotto e intristito. Questo scenario dice che Gesù è la novità in mezzo a un mondo vecchio, ed è venuto a guarire e ricostruire, a riportare la nostra vita e il mondo al loro splendore originario.

5. Quanta emozione dovrebbe accompagnarci mentre collochiamo nel presepe le montagne, i ruscelli, le pecore e i pastori! In questo modo ricordiamo, come avevano preannunciato i profeti, che tutto il creato partecipa alla festa della venuta del Messia. Gli angeli e la stella cometa sono il segno che noi pure siamo chiamati a metterci in cammino per raggiungere la grotta e adorare il Signore.

«Andiamo fino a Betlemme, vediamo questo avvenimento che il Signore ci ha fatto conoscere» ( Lc 2,15): così dicono i pastori dopo l’annuncio fatto dagli angeli. È un insegnamento molto bello che ci proviene nella semplicità della descrizione. A differenza di tanta gente intenta a fare mille altre cose, i pastori diventano i primi testimoni dell’essenziale, cioè della salvezza che viene donata. Sono i più umili e i più poveri che sanno accogliere l’avvenimento dell’Incarnazione. A Dio che ci viene incontro nel Bambino Gesù, i pastori rispondono mettendosi in cammino verso di Lui, per un incontro di amore e di grato stupore. È proprio questo incontro tra Dio e i suoi figli, grazie a Gesù, a dar vita alla nostra religione, a costituire la sua singolare bellezza, che traspare in modo particolare nel presepe.

6. Nei nostri presepi siamo soliti mettere tante statuine simboliche. Anzitutto, quelle di mendicanti e di gente che non conosce altra abbondanza se non quella del cuore. Anche loro stanno vicine a Gesù Bambino a pieno titolo, senza che nessuno possa sfrattarle o allontanarle da una culla talmente improvvisata che i poveri attorno ad essa non stonano affatto. I poveri, anzi, sono i privilegiati di questo mistero e, spesso, coloro che maggiormente riescono a riconoscere la presenza di Dio in mezzo a noi.

I poveri e i semplici nel presepe ricordano che Dio si fa uomo per quelli che più sentono il bisogno del suo amore e chiedono la sua vicinanza. Gesù, «mite e umile di cuore» ( Mt 11,29), è nato povero, ha condotto una vita semplice per insegnarci a cogliere l’essenziale e vivere di esso. Dal presepe emerge chiaro il messaggio che non possiamo lasciarci illudere dalla ricchezza e da tante proposte effimere di felicità. Il palazzo di Erode è sullo sfondo, chiuso, sordo all’annuncio di gioia. Nascendo nel presepe, Dio stesso inizia l’unica vera rivoluzione che dà speranza e dignità ai diseredati, agli emarginati: la rivoluzione dell’amore, la rivoluzione della tenerezza. Dal presepe, Gesù proclama, con mite potenza, l’appello alla condivisione con gli ultimi quale strada verso un mondo più umano e fraterno, dove nessuno sia escluso ed emarginato.

Spesso i bambini – ma anche gli adulti! – amano aggiungere al presepe altre statuine che sembrano non avere alcuna relazione con i racconti evangelici. Eppure, questa immaginazione intende esprimere che in questo nuovo mondo inaugurato da Gesù c’è spazio per tutto ciò che è umano e per ogni creatura. Dal pastore al fabbro, dal fornaio ai musicisti, dalle donne che portano le brocche d’acqua ai bambini che giocano…: tutto ciò rappresenta la santità quotidiana, la gioia di fare in modo straordinario le cose di tutti i giorni, quando Gesù condivide con noi la sua vita divina.

7. Poco alla volta il presepe ci conduce alla grotta, dove troviamo le statuine di Maria e di Giuseppe. Maria è una mamma che contempla il suo bambino e lo mostra a quanti vengono a visitarlo. La sua statuetta fa pensare al grande mistero che ha coinvolto questa ragazza quando Dio ha bussato alla porta del suo cuore immacolato. All’annuncio dell’angelo che le chiedeva di diventare la madre di Dio, Maria rispose con obbedienza piena e totale. Le sue parole: «Ecco la serva del Signore: avvenga per me secondo la tua parola» ( Lc 1,38), sono per tutti noi la testimonianza di come abbandonarsi nella fede alla volontà di Dio. Con quel “sì” Maria diventava madre del Figlio di Dio senza perdere, anzi consacrando grazie a Lui la sua verginità. Vediamo in lei la Madre di Dio che non tiene il suo Figlio solo per sé, ma a tutti chiede di obbedire alla sua parola e metterla in pratica (cfr Gv 2,5).

Accanto a Maria, in atteggiamento di proteggere il Bambino e la sua mamma, c’è San Giuseppe. In genere è raffigurato con il bastone in mano, e a volte anche mentre regge una lampada. San Giuseppe svolge un ruolo molto importante nella vita di Gesù e di Maria. Lui è il custode che non si stanca mai di proteggere la sua famiglia. Quando Dio lo avvertirà della minaccia di Erode, non esiterà a mettersi in viaggio ed emigrare in Egitto (cfr Mt 2,13-15). E una volta passato il pericolo, riporterà la famiglia a Nazareth, dove sarà il primo educatore di Gesù fanciullo e adolescente. Giuseppe portava nel cuore il grande mistero che avvolgeva Gesù e Maria sua sposa, e da uomo giusto si è sempre affidato alla volontà di Dio e l’ha messa in pratica.

8. Il cuore del presepe comincia a palpitare quando, a Natale, vi deponiamo la statuina di Gesù Bambino. Dio si presenta così, in un bambino, per farsi accogliere tra le nostre braccia. Nella debolezza e nella fragilità nasconde la sua potenza che tutto crea e trasforma. Sembra impossibile, eppure è così: in Gesù Dio è stato bambino e in questa condizione ha voluto rivelare la grandezza del suo amore, che si manifesta in un sorriso e nel tendere le sue mani verso chiunque.

La nascita di un bambino suscita gioia e stupore, perché pone dinanzi al grande mistero della vita. Vedendo brillare gli occhi dei giovani sposi davanti al loro figlio appena nato, comprendiamo i sentimenti di Maria e Giuseppe che guardando il bambino Gesù percepivano la presenza di Dio nella loro vita.

«La vita infatti si manifestò» ( 1 Gv 1,2): così l’apostolo Giovanni riassume il mistero dell’Incarnazione. Il presepe ci fa vedere, ci fa toccare questo evento unico e straordinario che ha cambiato il corso della storia, e a partire dal quale anche si ordina la numerazione degli anni, prima e dopo la nascita di Cristo.

Il modo di agire di Dio quasi tramortisce, perché sembra impossibile che Egli rinunci alla sua gloria per farsi uomo come noi. Che sorpresa vedere Dio che assume i nostri stessi comportamenti: dorme, prende il latte dalla mamma, piange e gioca come tutti i bambini! Come sempre, Dio sconcerta, è imprevedibile, continuamente fuori dai nostri schemi. Dunque il presepe, mentre ci mostra Dio così come è entrato nel mondo, ci provoca a pensare alla nostra vita inserita in quella di Dio; invita a diventare suoi discepoli se si vuole raggiungere il senso ultimo della vita.

9. Quando si avvicina la festa dell’Epifania, si collocano nel presepe le tre statuine dei Re Magi. Osservando la stella, quei saggi e ricchi signori dell’Oriente si erano messi in cammino verso Betlemme per conoscere Gesù, e offrirgli in dono oro, incenso e mirra. Anche questi regali hanno un significato allegorico: l’oro onora la regalità di Gesù; l’incenso la sua divinità; la mirra la sua santa umanità che conoscerà la morte e la sepoltura.

Guardando questa scena nel presepe siamo chiamati a riflettere sulla responsabilità che ogni cristiano ha di essere evangelizzatore. Ognuno di noi si fa portatore della Bella Notizia presso quanti incontra, testimoniando la gioia di aver incontrato Gesù e il suo amore con concrete azioni di misericordia.

I Magi insegnano che si può partire da molto lontano per raggiungere Cristo. Sono uomini ricchi, stranieri sapienti, assetati d’infinito, che partono per un lungo e pericoloso viaggio che li porta fino a Betlemme (cfr Mt 2,1-12). Davanti al Re Bambino li pervade una gioia grande. Non si lasciano scandalizzare dalla povertà dell’ambiente; non esitano a mettersi in ginocchio e ad adorarlo. Davanti a Lui comprendono che Dio, come regola con sovrana sapienza il corso degli astri, così guida il corso della storia, abbassando i potenti ed esaltando gli umili. E certamente, tornati nel loro Paese, avranno raccontato questo incontro sorprendente con il Messia, inaugurando il viaggio del Vangelo tra le genti.

10. Davanti al presepe, la mente va volentieri a quando si era bambini e con impazienza si aspettava il tempo per iniziare a costruirlo. Questi ricordi ci inducono a prendere sempre nuovamente coscienza del grande dono che ci è stato fatto trasmettendoci la fede; e al tempo stesso ci fanno sentire il dovere e la gioia di partecipare ai figli e ai nipoti la stessa esperienza. Non è importante come si allestisce il presepe, può essere sempre uguale o modificarsi ogni anno; ciò che conta, è che esso parli alla nostra vita. Dovunque e in qualsiasi forma, il presepe racconta l’amore di Dio, il Dio che si è fatto bambino per dirci quanto è vicino ad ogni essere umano, in qualunque condizione si trovi.

Cari fratelli e sorelle, il presepe fa parte del dolce ed esigente processo di trasmissione della fede. A partire dall’infanzia e poi in ogni età della vita, ci educa a contemplare Gesù, a sentire l’amore di Dio per noi, a sentire e credere che Dio è con noi e noi siamo con Lui, tutti figli e fratelli grazie a quel Bambino Figlio di Dio e della Vergine Maria. E a sentire che in questo sta la felicità. Alla scuola di San Francesco, apriamo il cuore a questa grazia semplice, lasciamo che dallo stupore nasca una preghiera umile: il nostro “grazie” a Dio che ha voluto condividere con noi tutto per non lasciarci mai soli.

Dato a Greccio, nel Santuario del Presepe, 1° dicembre 2019, settimo del pontificato.

FRANCESCO

___________________

[1] Tommaso da Celano, Vita Prima , 84: Fonti francescane (FF) , n. 468. [2] Cf. ibid ., 85: FF , n. 469. [3] Ibid. , 86: FF , n. 470.

[01938-IT.01] [Testo originale: Italiano]

Traduzione in lingua francese

LETTRE APOSTOLIQUE Admirabile signum DU SOUVERAIN PONTIFE FRANÇOIS SUR LA SIGNIFICATION ET LA VALEUR DE LA CRÈCHE

1. Le merveilleux signe de la crèche, si chère au peuple chrétien, suscite toujours stupeur et émerveillement. Représenter l'événement de la naissance de Jésus, équivaut à annoncer le mystère de l'Incarnation du Fils de Dieu avec simplicité et joie. La crèche, en effet, est comme un Évangile vivant, qui découle des pages de la Sainte Écriture. En contemplant la scène de Noël, nous sommes invités à nous mettre spirituellement en chemin, attirés par l'humilité de Celui qui s'est fait homme pour rencontrer chaque homme. Et, nous découvrons qu'Il nous aime jusqu’au point de s’unir à nous, pour que nous aussi nous puissions nous unir à Lui.

Par cette lettre je voudrais soutenir la belle tradition de nos familles qui, dans les jours qui précèdent Noël, préparent la crèche. Tout comme la coutume de l'installer sur les lieux de travail, dans les écoles, les hôpitaux, les prisons, sur les places publiques... C'est vraiment un exercice d'imagination créative, qui utilise les matériaux les plus variés pour créer de petits chefs-d'œuvre de beauté. On l’apprend dès notre enfance : quand papa et maman, ensemble avec les grands-parents, transmettent cette habitude joyeuse qui possède en soi une riche spiritualité populaire. Je souhaite que cette pratique ne se perde pas ; mais au contraire, j'espère que là où elle est tombée en désuétude, elle puisse être redécouverte et revitalisée.

2. L'origine de la crèche se trouve surtout dans certains détails évangéliques de la naissance de Jésus à Bethléem. L'évangéliste Luc dit simplement que Marie «mit au monde son fils premier-né; elle l’emmaillota et le coucha dans une mangeoire, car il n’y avait pas de place pour eux dans la salle commune» (2, 7). Jésus est couché dans une mangeoire, appelée en latin praesepium , d'où la crèche.

En entrant dans ce monde, le Fils de Dieu est déposé à l’endroit où les animaux vont manger. La paille devient le premier berceau pour Celui qui se révèle comme «le pain descendu du ciel» ( Jn 6, 41). C’est une symbolique, que déjà saint Augustin, avec d'autres Pères, avait saisie lorsqu'il écrivait : «Allongé dans une mangeoire, il est devenu notre nourriture» (Serm. 189, 4). En réalité, la crèche contient plusieurs mystères de la vie de Jésus de telle sorte qu’elle nous les rend plus proches de notre vie quotidienne.

Mais venons-en à l'origine de la crèche telle que nous la comprenons. Retrouvons-nous en pensée à Greccio, dans la vallée de Rieti, où saint François s'arrêta, revenant probablement de Rome, le 29 novembre 1223, lorsqu’il avait reçu du Pape HonoriusIII la confirmation de sa Règle. Après son voyage en Terre Sainte, ces grottes lui rappelaient d'une manière particulière le paysage de Bethléem. Et il est possible que le Poverello ait été influencé à Rome, par les mosaïques de la Basilique de Sainte Marie Majeure, représentant la naissance de Jésus, juste à côté de l'endroit où étaient conservés, selon une tradition ancienne, les fragments de la mangeoire.

Les Sources franciscaines racontent en détail ce qui s'est passé à Greccio. Quinze jours avant Noël, François appela un homme du lieu, nommé Jean, et le supplia de l'aider à réaliser un vœu : «Je voudrais représenter l'Enfant né à Bethléem, et voir avec les yeux du corps, les souffrances dans lesquelles il s’est trouvé par manque du nécessaire pour un nouveau-né, lorsqu'il était couché dans un berceau sur la paille entre le bœuf et l'âne» [1] . Dès qu'il l'eut écouté, l'ami fidèle alla immédiatement préparer, à l'endroit indiqué, tout le nécessaire selon la volonté du Saint. Le 25 décembre, de nombreux frères de divers endroits vinrent à Greccio accompagnés d’hommes et de femmes provenant des fermes de la région, apportant fleurs et torches pour illuminer cette sainte nuit. Quand François arriva, il trouva la mangeoire avec la paille, le bœuf et l'âne. Les gens qui étaient accourus manifestèrent une joie indicible jamais éprouvée auparavant devant la scène de Noël. Puis le prêtre, sur la mangeoire, célébra solennellement l'Eucharistie, montrant le lien entre l'Incarnation du Fils de Dieu et l'Eucharistie. À cette occasion, à Greccio, il n'y a pas eu de santons: la crèche a été réalisée et vécue par les personnes présentes [2] .

C'est ainsi qu'est née notre tradition : tous autour de la grotte et pleins de joie, sans aucune distance entre l'événement qui se déroule et ceux qui participent au mystère.

Le premier biographe de saint François, Thomas de Celano, rappelle que s'ajouta, cette nuit-là, le don d'une vision merveilleuse à la scène touchante et simple: une des personnes présentes vit, couché dans la mangeoire, l'Enfant Jésus lui-même. De cette crèche de Noël 1223,«chacun s’en retourna chez lui plein d'une joie ineffable» [3] .

3. Saint François, par la simplicité de ce signe, a réalisé une grande œuvre d'évangélisation. Son enseignement a pénétré le cœur des chrétiens et reste jusqu'à nos jours une manière authentique de proposer de nouveau la beauté de notre foi avec simplicité. Par ailleurs, l'endroit même où la première crèche a été réalisée exprime et suscite ces sentiments. Greccio est donc devenu un refuge pour l'âme qui se cache sur le rocher pour se laisser envelopper dans le silence.

Pourquoi la crèche suscite-t-elle tant d'émerveillement et nous émeut-elle ? Tout d'abord parce qu'elle manifeste la tendresse de Dieu. Lui, le Créateur de l'univers, s'abaisse à notre petitesse. Le don de la vie, déjà mystérieux à chaque fois pour nous, fascine encore plus quand nous voyons que Celui qui est né de Marie est la source et le soutien de toute vie. En Jésus, le Père nous a donné un frère qui vient nous chercher quand nous sommes désorientés et que nous perdons notre direction ; un ami fidèle qui est toujours près de nous. Il nous a donné son Fils qui nous pardonne et nous relève du péché.

Faire une crèche dans nos maisons nous aide à revivre l'histoire vécue à Bethléem. Bien sûr, les Évangiles restent toujours la source qui nous permet de connaître et de méditer sur cet Événement, cependant la représentation de ce dernier par la crèche nous aide à imaginer les scènes, stimule notre affection et nous invite à nous sentir impliqués dans l'histoire du salut, contemporains de l'événement qui est vivant et actuel dans les contextes historiques et culturels les plus variés.

D'une manière particulière, depuis ses origines franciscaines, la crèche est une invitation à "sentir" et à "toucher" la pauvreté que le Fils de Dieu a choisie pour lui-même dans son incarnation. Elle est donc, implicitement, un appel à le suivre sur le chemin de l'humilité, de la pauvreté, du dépouillement, qui, de la mangeoire de Bethléem conduit à la croix. C'est un appel à le rencontrer et à le servir avec miséricorde dans les frères et sœurs les plus nécessiteux (cf. Mt 25, 31-46).

4. J'aimerais maintenant passer en revue les différents signes de la crèche pour en saisir le sens qu'ils portent en eux. En premier lieu, représentons-nous le contexte du ciel étoilé dans l'obscurité et dans le silence de la nuit. Ce n'est pas seulement par fidélité au récit évangélique que nous faisons ainsi, mais aussi pour la signification qu’il possède. Pensons seulement aux nombreuses fois où la nuit obscurcit notre vie. Eh bien, même dans ces moments-là, Dieu ne nous laisse pas seuls, mais il se rend présent pour répondre aux questions décisives concernant le sens de notre existence : Qui suis-je ? D'où est-ce que je viens ? Pourquoi suis-je né à cette époque ? Pourquoi est-ce que j'aime ? Pourquoi est-ce que je souffre ? Pourquoi vais-je mourir ? Pour répondre à ces questions, Dieu s'est fait homme. Sa proximité apporte la lumière là où il y a les ténèbres et illumine ceux qui traversent l’obscurité profonde de la souffrance (cf. Lc 1,79).

Les paysages qui font partie de la crèche méritent, eux aussi, quelques mots, car ils représentent souvent les ruines d'anciennes maisons et de palais qui, dans certains cas, remplacent la grotte de Bethléem et deviennent la demeure de la Sainte Famille. Ces ruines semblent s'inspirer de la Légende dorée du dominicain Jacopo da Varazze (XIII ème siècle), où nous pouvons lire une croyance païenne selon laquelle le temple de la Paix à Rome se serait effondré quand une Vierge aurait donné naissance. Ces ruines sont avant tout le signe visible de l'humanité déchue, de tout ce qui va en ruine, de ce qui est corrompu et triste. Ce scénario montre que Jésus est la nouveauté au milieu de ce vieux monde, et qu'il est venu guérir et reconstruire pour ramener nos vies et le monde à leur splendeur originelle.

5. Quelle émotion devrions-nous ressentir lorsque nous ajoutons dans la crèche des montagnes, des ruisseaux, des moutons et des bergers ! Nous nous souvenons ainsi, comme les prophètes l'avaient annoncé, que toute la création participe à la fête de la venue du Messie. Les anges et l'étoile de Bethléem sont le signe que nous sommes, nous aussi, appelés à nous mettre en route pour atteindre la grotte et adorer le Seigneur.

«Allons jusqu’à Bethléem pour voir ce qui est arrivé, l’événement que le Seigneur nous a fait connaître » ( Lc 2, 15) : voilà ce que disent les bergers après l'annonce faite par les anges. C'est un très bel enseignement qui nous est donné dans la simplicité de sa description. Contrairement à tant de personnes occupées à faire mille choses, les bergers deviennent les premiers témoins de l’essentiel, c’est-à-dire du salut qui est donné. Ce sont les plus humbles et les plus pauvres qui savent accueillir l'événement de l'Incarnation. À Dieu qui vient à notre rencontre dans l'Enfant Jésus, les bergers répondent en se mettant en route vers Lui, pour une rencontre d'amour et d'étonnement reconnaissant. C'est précisément cette rencontre entre Dieu et ses enfants, grâce à Jésus, qui donne vie à notre religion, qui constitue sa beauté unique et qui transparaît de manière particulière à la crèche.

6. Dans nos crèches, nous avons l'habitude de mettre de nombreuses santons symboliques. Tout d'abord, ceux des mendiants et des personnes qui ne connaissent pas d'autre abondance que celle du cœur. Eux aussi sont proches de l'Enfant Jésus à part entière, sans que personne ne puisse les expulser ou les éloigner du berceau improvisé, car ces pauvres qui l'entourent ne détonnent pas au décor. Les pauvres, en effet, sont les privilégiés de ce mystère et, souvent, les plus aptes à reconnaître la présence de Dieu parmi nous.

Les pauvres et les simples dans la crèche rappellent que Dieu se fait homme pour ceux qui ressentent le plus le besoin de son amour et demandent sa proximité. Jésus, «doux et humble de cœur» ( Mt 11, 29), est né pauvre, il a mené une vie simple pour nous apprendre à saisir l'essentiel et à en vivre. De la crèche, émerge clairement le message que nous ne pouvons pas nous laisser tromper par la richesse et par tant de propositions éphémères de bonheur. Le palais d'Hérode est en quelque sorte fermé et sourd à l'annonce de la joie. En naissant dans la crèche, Dieu lui-même commence la seule véritable révolution qui donne espoir et dignité aux non désirés, aux marginalisés : la révolution de l'amour, la révolution de la tendresse. De la crèche, Jésus a proclamé, avec une douce puissance, l'appel à partager avec les plus petits ce chemin vers un monde plus humain et plus fraternel, où personne n'est exclu ni marginalisé.

Souvent les enfants - mais aussi les adultes ! - adorent ajouter à la crèche d'autres figurines qui semblent n'avoir aucun rapport avec les récits évangéliques. Cette imagination entend exprimer que, dans ce monde nouveau inauguré par Jésus, il y a de la place pour tout ce qui est humain et pour toute créature. Du berger au forgeron, du boulanger au musicien, de la femme qui porte une cruche d’eau aux enfants qui jouent...: tout cela représente la sainteté au quotidien, la joie d’accomplir les choses de la vie courante d'une manière extraordinaire, lorsque Jésus partage sa vie divine avec nous.

7. Peu à peu, la crèche nous conduit à la grotte, où nous trouvons les santons de Marie et de Joseph. Marie est une mère qui contemple son enfant et le montre à ceux qui viennent le voir. Ce santon nous fait penser au grand mystère qui a impliqué cette jeune fille quand Dieu a frappé à la porte de son cœur immaculé. À l'annonce de l'ange qui lui demandait de devenir la mère de Dieu, Marie répondit avec une obéissance pleine et entière. Ses paroles : «Voici la servante du Seigneur; que tout m’advienne selon ta parole» ( Lc 1, 38), sont pour nous tous le témoignage de la façon de s’abandonner dans la foi à la volonté de Dieu. Avec ce "oui" Marie est devenue la mère du Fils de Dieu, sans perdre mais consacrant, grâce à lui, sa virginité. Nous voyons en elle la Mère de Dieu qui ne garde pas son Fils seulement pour elle-même, mais demande à chacun d'obéir à sa parole et de la mettre en pratique (cf. Jn 2, 5).

À côté de Marie, dans une attitude de protection de l'Enfant et de sa mère, se trouve saint Joseph. Il est généralement représenté avec un bâton à la main, et parfois même tenant une lampe. Saint Joseph joue un rôle très important dans la vie de Jésus et de Marie. Il est le gardien qui ne se lasse jamais de protéger sa famille. Quand Dieu l'avertira de la menace d'Hérode, il n'hésitera pas à voyager pour émigrer en Égypte (cf. Mt 2, 13-15). Et ce n’est qu’une fois le danger passé, qu’il ramènera la famille à Nazareth, où il sera le premier éducateur de Jésus enfant et adolescent. Joseph portait dans son cœur le grand mystère qui enveloppait Jésus et Marie son épouse, et, en homme juste, il s’est toujours confié à la volonté de Dieu et l’a mise en pratique.

8. Le cœur de la crèche commence à battre quand, à Noël, nous y déposons le santon de l'Enfant Jésus. Dieu se présente ainsi, dans un enfant, pour être accueilli dans nos bras. Dans la faiblesse et la fragilité, se cache son pouvoir qui crée et transforme tout. Cela semble impossible, mais c'est pourtant ainsi : en Jésus, Dieu a été un enfant et c’est dans cette condition qu’il a voulu révéler la grandeur de son amour qui se manifeste dans un sourire et dans l'extension de ses mains tendues vers tous.

La naissance d'un enfant suscite joie et émerveillement, car elle nous place devant le grand mystère de la vie. En voyant briller les yeux des jeunes mariés devant leur enfant nouveau-né, nous comprenons les sentiments de Marie et de Joseph qui, regardant l'Enfant Jésus, ont perçu la présence de Dieu dans leur vie.

«La vie s'est manifestée» ( 1Jn 1, 2) : c'est ainsi que l'Apôtre Jean résume le mystère de l'Incarnation. La crèche nous fait voir, nous fait toucher cet événement unique et extraordinaire qui a changé le cours de l'histoire et à partir duquel la numérotation des années, avant et après la naissance du Christ, en est également ordonnée.

La manière d'agir de Dieu est presque une question de transmission, car il semble impossible qu’il renonce à sa gloire pour devenir un homme comme nous. Quelle surprise de voir Dieu adopter nos propres comportements : il dort, il tète le lait de sa mère, il pleure et joue comme tous les enfants! Comme toujours, Dieu déconcerte, il est imprévisible et continuellement hors de nos plans. Ainsi la crèche, tout en nous montrant comment Dieu est entré dans le monde, nous pousse à réfléchir sur notre vie insérée dans celle de Dieu ; elle nous invite à devenir ses disciples si nous voulons atteindre le sens ultime de la vie.

9. Lorsque s’approche la fête de l'Épiphanie, nous ajoutons dans la crèche les trois santons des Rois Mages. Observant l'étoile, ces sages et riches seigneurs de l'Orient, s'étaient mis en route vers Bethléem pour connaître Jésus et lui offrir comme présent de l'or, de l'encens et de la myrrhe. Ces dons ont aussi une signification allégorique : l'or veut honorer la royauté de Jésus ; l'encens sa divinité; la myrrhe sa sainte humanité qui connaîtra la mort et la sépulture.

En regardant la scène de la crèche, nous sommes appelés à réfléchir sur la responsabilité de tout chrétien à être évangélisateur. Chacun de nous devient porteur de la Bonne Nouvelle pour ceux qu'il rencontre, témoignant, par des actions concrètes de miséricorde, de la joie d'avoir rencontré Jésus et son amour.

Les Mages nous enseignent qu'on peut partir de très loin pour rejoindre le Christ. Ce sont des hommes riches, des étrangers sages, assoiffés d'infinis, qui entreprennent un long et dangereux voyage qui les a conduits jusqu’à Bethléem (cf. Mt 2, 1-12). Une grande joie les envahit devant l'Enfant Roi. Ils ne se laissent pas scandaliser par la pauvreté de l'environnement ; ils n'hésitent pas à se mettre à genoux et à l'adorer. Devant lui, ils comprennent que, tout comme Dieu règle avec une souveraine sagesse le mouvement des astres, ainsi guide-t-il le cours de l'histoire, abaissant les puissants et élevant les humbles. Et certainement que, de retour dans leur pays, ils auront partagé cette rencontre surprenante avec le Messie, inaugurant le voyage de l'Évangile parmi les nations.

10. Devant la crèche, notre esprit se rappelle volontiers notre enfance, quand nous attendions avec impatience le moment de pouvoir commencer à la mettre en place. Ces souvenirs nous poussent à prendre de plus en plus conscience du grand don qui nous a été fait par la transmission de la foi ; et en même temps, ils nous font sentir le devoir et la joie de faire participer nos enfants et nos petits-enfants à cette même expérience. La façon d’installer la mangeoire n'est pas importante, elle peut toujours être la même ou être différente chaque année ; ce qui compte c'est que cela soit signifiant pour notre vie. Partout, et sous différentes formes, la crèche parle de l'amour de Dieu, le Dieu qui s’est fait enfant pour nous dire combien il est proche de chaque être humain, quelle que soit sa condition.

Chers frères et sœurs, la crèche fait partie du processus doux et exigeant de la transmission de la foi. Dès l'enfance et ensuite à chaque âge de la vie, elle nous apprend à contempler Jésus, à ressentir l'amour de Dieu pour nous, à vivre et à croire que Dieu est avec nous et que nous sommes avec lui, tous fils et frères grâce à cet Enfant qui est Fils de Dieu et de la Vierge Marie; et à éprouver en cela le bonheur. À l'école de saint François, ouvrons notre cœur à cette grâce simple et laissons surgir de l'émerveillement une humble prière : notre "merci" à Dieu qui a voulu tout partager avec nous afin de ne jamais nous laisser seuls.

Donné à Greccio, au Sanctuaire de la crèche, le 1 er décembre 2019, la septième année de mon Pontificat.

FRANÇOIS

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[1] Thomas de Celano, Vita Prima , n. 84: Sources franciscaines ( FF ), n. 468. [2] Cf. ibid ., n. 85: FF , n. 469. [3] Ibid. , n. 86: FF , n. 470.

[01938-FR.01] [Texte original: Italien]

Traduzione in lingua inglese

APOSTOLIC LETTER Admirabile signum OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON THE MEANING AND IMPORTANCE OF THE NATIVITY SCENE

1. The enchanting image of the Christmas crèche, so dear to the Christian people, never ceases to arouse amazement and wonder. The depiction of Jesus’ birth is itself a simple and joyful proclamation of the mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. The nativity scene is like a living Gospel rising up from the pages of sacred Scripture. As we contemplate the Christmas story, we are invited to set out on a spiritual journey, drawn by the humility of the God who became man in order to encounter every man and woman. We come to realize that so great is his love for us that he became one of us, so that we in turn might become one with him.

With this Letter, I wish to encourage the beautiful family tradition of preparing the nativity scene in the days before Christmas, but also the custom of setting it up in the workplace, in schools, hospitals, prisons and town squares. Great imagination and creativity is always shown in employing the most diverse materials to create small masterpieces of beauty. As children, we learn from our parents and grandparents to carry on this joyful tradition, which encapsulates a wealth of popular piety. It is my hope that this custom will never be lost and that, wherever it has fallen into disuse, it can be rediscovered and revived.

2. The origin of the Christmas crèche is found above all in certain details of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, as related in the Gospels. The evangelist Luke says simply that Mary “gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (2:7). Because Jesus was laid in a manger, the nativity scene is known in Italian as a presepe , from the Latin word praesepium , meaning “manger”.

Coming into this world, the Son of God was laid in the place where animals feed. Hay became the first bed of the One who would reveal himself as “the bread come down from heaven” ( Jn 6:41). Saint Augustine, with other Church Fathers, was impressed by this symbolism: “Laid in a manger, he became our food” ( Sermon 189, 4). Indeed, the nativity scene evokes a number of the mysteries of Jesus’ life and brings them close to our own daily lives.

But let us go back to the origins of the Christmas crèche so familiar to us. We need to imagine ourselves in the little Italian town of Greccio, near Rieti. Saint Francis stopped there, most likely on his way back from Rome where on 29 November 1223 he had received the confirmation of his Rule from Pope Honorius III. Francis had earlier visited the Holy Land, and the caves in Greccio reminded him of the countryside of Bethlehem. It may also be that the “Poor Man of Assisi” had been struck by the mosaics in the Roman Basilica of Saint Mary Major depicting the birth of Jesus, close to the place where, according to an ancient tradition, the wooden panels of the manger are preserved.

The Franciscan Sources describe in detail what then took place in Greccio. Fifteen days before Christmas, Francis asked a local man named John to help him realize his desire “to bring to life the memory of that babe born in Bethlehem, to see as much as possible with my own bodily eyes the discomfort of his infant needs, how he lay in a manger, and how, with an ox and an ass standing by, he was laid upon a bed of hay”. [1] At this, his faithful friend went immediately to prepare all that the Saint had asked. On 25December, friars came to Greccio from various parts, together with people from the farmsteads in the area, who brought flowers and torches to light up that holy night. When Francis arrived, he found a manger full of hay, an ox and a donkey. All those present experienced a new and indescribable joy in the presence of the Christmas scene. The priest then solemnly celebrated the Eucharist over the manger, showing the bond between the Incarnation of the Son of God and the Eucharist. At Greccio there were no statues; the nativity scene was enacted and experienced by all who were present. [2]

This is how our tradition began: with everyone gathered in joy around the cave, with no distance between the original event and those sharing in its mystery.

Thomas of Celano, the first biographer of Saint Francis, notes that this simple and moving scene was accompanied by the gift of a marvellous vision: one of those present saw the Baby Jesus himself lying in the manger. From the nativity scene of that Christmas in 1223, “everyone went home with joy”. [3]

3. With the simplicity of that sign, Saint Francis carried out a great work of evangelization. His teaching touched the hearts of Christians and continues today to offer a simple yet authentic means of portraying the beauty of our faith. Indeed, the place where this first nativity scene was enacted expresses and evokes these sentiments. Greccio has become a refuge for the soul, a mountain fastness wrapped in silence.

Why does the Christmas crèche arouse such wonder and move us so deeply? First, because it shows God’s tender love: the Creator of the universe lowered himself to take up our littleness. The gift of life, in all its mystery, becomes all the more wondrous as we realize that the Son of Mary is the source and sustenance of all life. In Jesus, the Father has given us a brother who comes to seek us out whenever we are confused or lost, a loyal friend ever at our side. He gave us his Son who forgives us and frees us from our sins.

Setting up the Christmas crèche in our homes helps us to relive the history of what took place in Bethlehem. Naturally, the Gospels remain our source for understanding and reflecting on that event. At the same time, its portrayal in the crèche helps us to imagine the scene. It touches our hearts and makes us enter into salvation history as contemporaries of an event that is living and real in a broad gamut of historical and cultural contexts.

In a particular way, from the time of its Franciscan origins, the nativity scene has invited us to “feel” and “touch” the poverty that God’s Son took upon himself in the Incarnation. Implicitly, it summons us to follow him along the path of humility, poverty and self-denial that leads from the manger of Bethlehem to the cross. It asks us to meet him and serve him by showing mercy to those of our brothers and sisters in greatest need (cf. Mt 25:31-46).

4. I would like now to reflect on the various elements of the nativity scene in order to appreciate their deeper meaning. First, there is the background of a starry sky wrapped in the darkness and silence of night. We represent this not only out of fidelity to the Gospel accounts, but also for its symbolic value. We can think of all those times in our lives when we have experienced the darkness of night. Yet even then, God does not abandon us, but is there to answer our crucial questions about the meaning of life. Who am I? Where do I come from? Why was I born at this time in history? Why do I love? Why do I suffer? Why will I die? It was to answer these questions that God became man. His closeness brings light where there is darkness and shows the way to those dwelling in the shadow of suffering (cf. Lk 1:79).

The landscapes that are part of the nativity scene also deserve some mention. Frequently they include the ruins of ancient houses or buildings, which in some instances replace the cave of Bethlehem and become a home for the Holy Family. These ruins appear to be inspired by the thirteenth-century Golden Legend of the Dominican Jacobus de Varagine, which relates a pagan belief that the Temple of Peace in Rome would collapse when a Virgin gave birth. More than anything, the ruins are the visible sign of fallen humanity, of everything that inevitably falls into ruin, decays and disappoints. This scenic setting tells us that Jesus is newness in the midst of an aging world, that he has come to heal and rebuild, to restore the world and our lives to their original splendour.

5. With what emotion should we arrange the mountains, streams, sheep and shepherds in the nativity scene! As we do so, we are reminded that, as the prophets had foretold, all creation rejoices in the coming of the Messiah. The angels and the guiding star are a sign that we too are called to set out for the cave and to worship the Lord.

“Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us” ( Lk 2:15). So the shepherds tell one another after the proclamation of the angels. A beautiful lesson emerges from these simple words. Unlike so many other people, busy about many things, the shepherds become the first to see the most essential thing of all: the gift of salvation. It is the humble and the poor who greet the event of the Incarnation. The shepherds respond to God who comes to meet us in the Infant Jesus by setting out to meet him with love, gratitude and awe. Thanks to Jesus, this encounter between God and his children gives birth to our religion and accounts for its unique beauty, so wonderfully evident in the nativity scene.

6. It is customary to add many symbolic figures to our nativity scenes. First, there are the beggars and the others who know only the wealth of the heart. They too have every right to draw near to the Infant Jesus; no one can evict them or send them away from a crib so makeshift that the poor seem entirely at home. Indeed, the poor are a privileged part of this mystery; often they are the first to recognize God’s presence in our midst.

The presence of the poor and the lowly in the nativity scene remind us that God became man for the sake of those who feel most in need of his love and who ask him to draw near to them. Jesus, “gentle and humble in heart” ( Mt 11 :29), was born in poverty and led a simple life in order to teach us to recognize what is essential and to act accordingly. The nativity scene clearly teaches that we cannot let ourselves be fooled by wealth and fleeting promises of happiness. We see Herod’s palace in the background, closed and deaf to the tidings of joy. By being born in a manger, God himself launches the only true revolution that can give hope and dignity to the disinherited and the outcast: the revolution of love, the revolution of tenderness. From the manger, Jesus proclaims, in a meek yet powerful way, the need for sharing with the poor as the path to a more human and fraternal world in which no one is excluded or marginalized.

Children – but adults too! – often love to add to the nativity scene other figures that have no apparent connection with the Gospel accounts. Yet, each in its own way, these fanciful additions show that in the new world inaugurated by Jesus there is room for whatever is truly human and for all God’s creatures. From the shepherd to the blacksmith, from the baker to the musicians, from the women carrying jugs of water to the children at play: all this speaks of the everyday holiness, the joy of doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way, born whenever Jesus shares his divine life with us.

7. Gradually, we come to the cave, where we find the figures of Mary and Joseph. Mary is a mother who contemplates her child and shows him to every visitor. The figure of Mary makes us reflect on the great mystery that surrounded this young woman when God knocked on the door of her immaculate heart. Mary responded in complete obedience to the message of the angel who asked her to become the Mother of God. Her words, “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” ( Lk 1:38), show all of us how to abandon ourselves in faith to God’s will. By her “fiat”, Mary became the mother of God’s Son, not losing but, thanks to him, consecrating her virginity. In her, we see the Mother of God who does not keep her Son only to herself, but invites everyone to obey his word and to put it into practice (cf. Jn 2:5).

At Mary’s side, shown protecting the Child and his Mother, stands Saint Joseph. He is usually depicted with staff in hand, or holding up a lamp. Saint Joseph plays an important role in the life of Jesus and Mary. He is the guardian who tirelessly protects his family. When God warned him of Herod’s threat, he did not hesitate to set out and flee to Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-15). And once the danger had passed, he brought the family back to Nazareth, where he was to be the first teacher of Jesus as a boy and then as a young man. Joseph treasured in his heart the great mystery surrounding Jesus and Mary his spouse; as a just man, he entrusted himself always to God’s will, and put it into practice.

8. When, at Christmas, we place the statue of the Infant Jesus in the manger, the nativity scene suddenly comes alive. God appears as a child, for us to take into our arms. Beneath weakness and frailty, he conceals his power that creates and transforms all things. It seems impossible, yet it is true: in Jesus, God was a child, and in this way he wished to reveal the greatness of his love: by smiling and opening his arms to all.

The birth of a child awakens joy and wonder; it sets before us the great mystery of life. Seeing the bright eyes of a young couple gazing at their newborn child, we can understand the feelings of Mary and Joseph who, as they looked at the Infant Jesus, sensed God’s presence in their lives.

“Life was made manifest” ( 1 Jn 1:2). In these words, the Apostle John sums up the mystery of the Incarnation. The crèche allows us to see and touch this unique and unparalleled event that changed the course of history, so that time would thereafter be reckoned either before or after the birth of Christ.

God’s ways are astonishing, for it seems impossible that he should forsake his glory to become a man like us. To our astonishment, we see God acting exactly as we do: he sleeps, takes milk from his mother, cries and plays like every other child! As always, God baffles us. He is unpredictable, constantly doing what we least expect. The nativity scene shows God as he came into our world, but it also makes us reflect on how our life is part of God’s own life. It invites us to become his disciples if we want to attain ultimate meaning in life.

9. As the feast of Epiphany approaches, we place the statues of the Three Kings in the Christmas crèche. Observing the star, those wise men from the East set out for Bethlehem, in order to find Jesus and to offer him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These costly gifts have an allegorical meaning: gold honours Jesus’ kingship, incense his divinity, myrrh his sacred humanity that was to experience death and burial.

As we contemplate this aspect of the nativity scene, we are called to reflect on the responsibility of every Christian to spread the Gospel. Each of us is called to bear glad tidings to all, testifying by our practical works of mercy to the joy of knowing Jesus and his love.

The Magi teach us that people can come to Christ by a very long route. Men of wealth, sages from afar, athirst for the infinite, they set out on the long and perilous journey that would lead them to Bethlehem (cf. Mt 2:1-12). Great joy comes over them in the presence of the Infant King. They are not scandalized by the poor surroundings, but immediately fall to their knees to worship him. Kneeling before him, they understand that the God who with sovereign wisdom guides the course of the stars also guides the course of history, casting down the mighty and raising up the lowly. Upon their return home, they would certainly have told others of this amazing encounter with the Messiah, thus initiating the spread of the Gospel among the nations.

10. Standing before the Christmas crèche, we are reminded of the time when we were children, eagerly waiting to set it up. These memories make us all the more conscious of the precious gift received from those who passed on the faith to us. At the same time, they remind us of our duty to share this same experience with our children and our grandchildren. It does not matter how the nativity scene is arranged: it can always be the same or it can change from year to year. What matters is that it speaks to our lives. Wherever it is, and whatever form it takes, the Christmas crèche speaks to us of the love of God, the God who became a child in order to make us know how close he is to every man, woman and child, regardless of their condition.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Christmas crèche is part of the precious yet demanding process of passing on the faith. Beginning in childhood, and at every stage of our lives, it teaches us to contemplate Jesus, to experience God’s love for us, to feel and believe that God is with us and that we are with him, his children, brothers and sisters all, thanks to that Child who is the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin Mary. And to realize that in that knowledge we find true happiness. Like Saint Francis, may we open our hearts to this simple grace, so that from our wonderment a humble prayer may arise: a prayer of thanksgiving to God, who wished to share with us his all, and thus never to leave us alone.

Given in Greccio, at the Shrine of the Nativity, on 1 December in the year 2019, the seventh of my Pontificate.

FRANCIS

___________________

[1] Cf. Thomas of Celano, First Life , 84; Franciscan Sources , 469. [2] Ibid., 85; Franciscan Sources , 469. [3] Ibid . , 86: Franciscan Sources , 470.

[01938-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

Traduzione in lingua tedesca

APOSTOLISCHES SCHREIBEN Admirabile signum DES HEILIGEN VATERS PAPST FRANZISKUS ÜBER DIE BEDEUTUNG UND DEN WERT DER WEIHNACHTSKRIPPE

1. Das wunderbare Zeichen der Krippe, die dem christlichen Volk so sehr am Herzen liegt, weckt immer wieder neu Staunen und Verwunderung. Das Ereignis der Geburt Jesu darzustellen bedeutet, das Geheimnis der Menschwerdung des Sohnes Gottes mit Einfachheit und Freude zu verkünden. Die Krippe ist in der Tat wie ein lebendiges Evangelium, das aus den Seiten der Heiligen Schrift hervortritt. Wenn wir über die Weihnachtsszene nachdenken, sind wir eingeladen, uns geistlich auf den Weg zu machen, uns anziehen zu lassen von der Demut des Einen, der Mensch wurde, um jedem Menschen zu begegnen. Und wir entdecken, dass er uns so sehr liebt, dass er sich mit uns vereint, damit auch wir uns mit ihm vereinen können.

Mit diesem Schreiben möchte ich die schöne Tradition in unseren Familien stützen, in den Tagen vor Weihnachten eine Krippe aufzubauen, als auch den guten Brauch, sie am Arbeitsplatz, in Schulen, Krankenhäusern, Gefängnissen, auf öffentlichen Plätzen usw. aufzustellen. In wirklich kreativem Einfallsreichtum entstehen aus den unterschiedlichsten Materialien kleine Meisterwerke, die sehr schön anzusehen sind. Schon als Kind wächst man da hinein, wenn Vater und Mutter zusammen mit den Großeltern diesen freudigen Brauch weitervermitteln, der aus einer reichen Volksfrömmigkeit schöpft. Ich hoffe, dass dieses Brauchtum nie vergeht; im Gegenteil, ich hoffe, dass es dort, wo es nicht mehr gepflegt wird, wiederentdeckt und neu belebt werden kann.

2. Die Krippe geht in ihrem Ursprung vor allem auf einige in den Evangelien beschriebene Details der Geburt Jesu in Betlehem zurück. Beim Evangelisten Lukas heißt es einfach: Maria »gebar ihren Sohn, den Erstgeborenen. Sie wickelte ihn in Windeln und legte ihn in eine Krippe, weil in der Herberge kein Platz für sie war« (2,7). Jesus wird in eine Futterkrippe gelegt (lateinisch praesepium ), die der Weihnachtskrippe den Namen gibt.

Bei seinem Kommen in diese Welt findet der Sohn Gottes Platz, wo die Tiere ihr Futter fressen. Das Heu wird zur ersten Liegestatt für den, der sich als »das Brot, das vom Himmel herabgekommen ist« ( Joh 6,41), offenbaren wird. Auf diese Symbolik bezog sich der heilige Augustinus, wie andere Kirchenväter auch, wenn er schrieb: »Er lag in einer Krippe und wurde zu unserer Speise« ( Sermo 189,4). Tatsächlich enthält die Krippe mehrere Geheimnisse des Lebens Jesu und bringt sie unserem Alltagsleben näher.

Aber kommen wir sogleich zum Ursprung der Krippe, wie wir sie kennen. Wir begeben uns im Geist nach Greccio im Rieti-Tal; der heilige Franziskus hielt sich dort auf, als er wohl von Rom kam, wo er am 29. November 1223 von Papst Honorius III. die Bestätigung seiner Ordensregel erhalten hatte. Nach seiner Reise ins Heilige Land erinnerten ihn die dortigen Höhlen auf besondere Weise an die Landschaft von Betlehem. Und es ist möglich, dass den Poverello von Assisi in Rom die Mosaiken der Basilika Santa Maria Maggiore mit der Darstellung der Geburt Jesu beeindruckt hatten, die sich in direkter Nähe zu dem Ort befinden, wo nach alter Überlieferung Teile der Krippe Jesu aufbewahrt werden.

Die Franziskus-Quellen berichten ausführlich, was in Greccio geschehen ist. Fünfzehn Tage vor Weihnachten rief Franziskus einen Einheimischen namens Johannes zu sich und bat ihn um seine Mithilfe bei der Verwirklichung eines Wunsches: »Ich möchte nämlich das Gedächtnis an jenes Kind begehen, das in Betlehem geboren wurde, und ich möchte die bittere Not, die es schon als kleines Kind zu leiden hatte, wie es in eine Krippe gelegt, an der Ochs und Esel standen, und wie es auf Heu gebettet wurde, so greifbar als möglich mit leiblichen Augen schauen.« [1] Gleich nachdem er dieses Anliegen vernommen hatte, ging der treue Freund los, um am vorgesehenen Ort alles Notwendige entsprechend dem Wunsch des Heiligen vorzubereiten. Am 25. Dezember kamen viele Brüder aus verschiedenen Gegenden nach Greccio, und es kamen auch Männer und Frauen von den umliegenden Höfen mit Blumen und Fackeln, um diese heilige Nacht zu erleuchten. Als Franziskus ankam, fand er die Krippe mit dem Heu, dem Ochsen und dem Esel. Der Anblick der Weihnachtsszene erfüllte die herbeigeeilten Menschen mit unsagbarer, nie zuvor erlebter Freude. Dann feierte der Priester über der Krippe feierlich die Eucharistie und machte so die Verbindung zwischen der Menschwerdung des Sohnes Gottes und der Eucharistie sichtbar. Bei dieser Gelegenheit kamen in Greccio keine Figuren zum Einsatz: Die Anwesenden selbst stellten die Krippenszene dar und erlebten sie. [2]

So entstand unsere Tradition, als alle um die Grotte versammelt waren, von Freude erfüllt und ohne Distanz zwischen dem stattfindenden Geschehen und denen, die zu Teilnehmern an diesem Geheimnis wurden.

Der erste Biograph des heiligen Franziskus, Thomas von Celano, erinnert daran, dass zu der einfachen und berührenden Szene in jener Nacht noch das Geschenk einer wunderbaren Vision hinzukam: Einer der Anwesenden sah das Jesuskind selbst in der Krippe liegen. An diesem Weihnachtsfest im Jahr 1223 kehrte ein jeder »in seliger Freude nach Hause zurück«. [3]

3. Der heilige Franziskus hat mit der Schlichtheit dieses Zeichens ein großes Werk der Evangelisierung vollbracht. Seine Lehre ist in das Herz der Christen eingedrungen und bleibt bis in unsere Tage ein authentischer Weg, um die Schönheit unseres Glaubens auf schlichte Weise neu darzulegen. Im Übrigen bringt auch der Ort der ersten Krippendarstellung selbst diese Gefühle zum Ausdruck und ruft sie hervor. Greccio wird zu einem Zufluchtsort für die Seele, die sich auf dem Felsen verbirgt, um sich von der Stille umhüllen zu lassen.

Warum bewegt uns die Krippe und bringt uns derart zum Staunen? Vor allem weil sie Gottes Zärtlichkeit offenbart. Er, der Schöpfer des Alls, begibt sich zu uns hernieder. Das Geschenk des Lebens, an sich schon stets ein Geheimnis für uns, fasziniert uns umso mehr, wenn wir sehen, dass er, der aus Maria geboren wurde, die Quelle und der Halt allen Lebens ist. In Jesus hat uns der Vater einen Bruder geschenkt, der kommt, um uns zu suchen, wenn wir orientierungslos sind und die Richtung verlieren; einen treuen Freund, der uns immer nahe ist; er hat uns seinen Sohn geschenkt, der uns vergibt und aus aller Sünde erlöst.

Das Aufbauen der Krippe in unseren Häusern hilft uns dabei, die Geschichte, die sich in Betlehem zugetragen hat, neu zu erleben. Natürlich bleiben die Evangelien immer die Quelle, die uns ermöglicht, mit diesem Ereignis vertraut zu werden und es zu betrachten. Und doch sind die Krippendarstellungen eine Hilfe, sich die Szenen vorzustellen; sie wecken unsere Zuneigung und laden uns ein, uns in die Heilsgeschichte einbezogen zu fühlen und dieses Ereignis mitzuerleben, das in den verschiedensten historischen und kulturellen Kontexten lebendig und aktuell ist.

Von ihren franziskanischen Ursprüngen her ist die Krippe in besonderer Weise eine Einladung, die Armut zu „fühlen“ und zu „berühren“, die der Sohn Gottes bei seiner Menschwerdung für sich gewählt hat. Und so ist sie implizit ein Appell, ihm auf dem Weg der Demut, Armut und Entäußerung zu folgen, der von der Futterkrippe in Betlehem zum Kreuz führt. Sie ist ein Aufruf, ihm in den bedürftigsten Brüdern und Schwestern zu begegnen und in Barmherzigkeit zu dienen (vgl. Mt 25,31-46).

4. Ich möchte nun die verschiedenen Zeichen der Krippe durchgehen, um die in ihnen enthaltene Bedeutung herauszustellen. Beim Aufbauen beginnen wir zunächst mit dem Hintergrund des Sternenhimmels in der Dunkelheit und Stille der Nacht. Wir tun das nicht nur aus Treue zu den Evangelienberichten, sondern auch aufgrund der dieser Umgebung innewohnenden Bedeutung. Denken wir daran, wie oft Nacht unser Leben umgibt. Nun, selbst in solchen Momenten lässt Gott uns nicht allein, sondern kommt zu uns, um den entscheidenden Fragen nach dem Sinn unserer Existenz eine Antwort zu geben: Wer bin ich? Woher komme ich? Warum wurde ich in diese Zeit hineingeboren? Warum liebe ich? Warum leide ich? Warum werde ich sterben? Um auf diese Fragen eine Antwort zu geben, wurde Gott Mensch. Seine Nähe bringt Licht in die Finsternis und erleuchtet alle, die durch das Dunkel des Leidens gehen (vgl
          

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Egypt Hands Down 7 Death Sentences On Terror Charges

The Cairo Criminal Court has handed down death sentences to seven people convicted of carrying out attacks that killed 11 policemen in 2016.

The Court on Monday also sentenced 18 others to 10-15 years in prison for the same charges, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Those include attacking security forces, joining a terrorist group and possession of weapons and explosives.

The charges stem from multiple attacks in Cairo, including one that killed eight police in a microbus in the suburb of Helwan.

That attack was claimed by ISIS. The court acquitted seven others.

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Object Lessons: The Egyptian Collections of the University of California, Berkeley, thru May 22, 2020

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Object Lessons brings together ancient and modern Egyptian artifacts from the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri and the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in an exhibition in The Bancroft Library Gallery and Corridor. In the gallery, we invite you to explore how items from everyday life were created and discarded, excavated and conserved, from antiquity to the present day. The corridor showcases the innovative research being carried out on the Egyptian collections at the University of California, Berkeley, that continues to push scholarship forward in the twenty-first century. The things humans create often last beyond a single lifetime. Join us in considering the new lessons we can learn from the past lives of objects.
          

Greek Foreign Minister to meet Egyptian counterpart Shoukry on Sunday

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Developments in the eastern Mediterranean, in the light of the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Libya, will dominate the talks between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, according to ANA. Discussions between the two foreign ministers will
          

Fundamental Comics: G. Willow Wilson Creates Modern Muslim Identity with ‘Cairo’

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Fundamental Comics: G. Willow Wilson Creates Modern Muslim Identity with ‘Cairo’

“Fundamental Comics,” a monthly editorial series that introduces readers to comics, graphic novels, and manga that have been impactful to the sequential art medium and the comic book industry on a foundational level.  Each month, a new essay will examine a familiar or less-known title through an in-depth analysis, exploring the history of the title, significant themes, and context for the title’s popularity since it was first released.


Cairo
Writer:  G. Willow Wilson
Artist/Colorist:  M. K. Perker
Letterer:  Travis Lanham
Editor:  Joan Hilty    
Publisher:  Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics
Publication Date:   November 7, 2007
No. of Issues:  Graphic Novel


SPOILER ALERT: There are major plot reveals that may impede the reader’s enjoyment if reading Cairo for the first time.


Introduction
Egypt is the seat of one of the longest civilizations and is often referred to as a cradle of civilization.  While there were forms of localized governments and established cultural practices that can be traced back to 10,000 BCE, 3150 BCE marks the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt and the beginning of pharaonic dynasties.  Over the centuries, the ancient Egyptians developed and led many societal and cultural changes; they were often victors, but, eventually, their power dissipated as other cultures expanded and exerted their political power.  It wasn’t until the early 20th century before Egypt found independence once again.

Egypt gained their independence in 1922, but it wasn’t until the U.S. became involved during the Suez Crisis (1956) that the two countries established ties.  The U.S. brokered a peace agreement in 1979, supporting Egypt with military aid and positioning them as a key ally in the Middle East, which eventually evolved into a bilateral friendship.  Egypt initially supported counterterrorism steps taken by the U.S. after the attacks of 2001 but drew the line at Iraqi occupation efforts.  A crack in the friendship formed and manifested itself through a period of tension and transition that finally erupted in 2011.  It was during this time, in 2003, that American writer G. Willow Wilson moved to Cairo to teach English.  This move coincided with her conversion to Islam.  In 2007, this ancient city became the backdrop and namesake of her first graphic novel, Cairo (Vertigo), which paired her with artist M. K. Perker.  Although Muslim characters were not new to comics, Wilson’s ensemble cast was an early effort to portray a group of Middle Eastern characters that did not traditionally fit into the stereotypes that American audiences were familiar with from other comics, films, television, etc.




The Plot
“So, today, I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck,” states a young man, smoking a cigarette with a hookah at his side.  This is Ashraf, an Egyptian smuggler, looking to make some money and have a better life.  An Israeli special forces soldier, Tova, is traveling with a group of Bedouin, and, unbeknownst to her, she has crossed the border into Egypt and must quickly find a quiet way to get back home. American Kate and Lebanese-American Shaheed are on the same flight bound for Cairo.  She is an aspiring journalist looking for a writing job that matches with her political views, while Shaheed is a student headed for Beirut where he plans to don a bomb and sacrifice himself.  Meanwhile, in Cairo, Egyptian dissident journalist Jibreel harbors big dreams for himself and his girlfriend (Ashraf’s sister) Salma.  

All five characters are on a collision course towards each other via the hookah Ashraf stole from power-hungry crime lord and secret magician (Nar) who has nefarious plans.  Ashraf peddles the pipe to Shaheed, but later seeks to get it back when he learns that the hookah is home to a djinn, Shams, who is both cursed and coveted by Nar.  Each character brings their insight and personal baggage into the story, proving that life’s issues transcend political and cultural differences.  Each character must grapple with the cause/effect of their actions, as well as seek to understand (and challenge) their beliefs and prejudices.  All of the characters’ stories quickly intertwine with Shams, protector of East (an unimaginable power), and along the way, each finds friendship and clarity of purpose.  Much of the action crisscrosses present-day Cairo (a supporting character of the story), while the mystical aspects unfold in the world of Under-Nile.  




Reception Upon Original Release
As mentioned in the introduction above, the U.S./Egypt political relationship blossomed with the peace agreement and military aid; however, Egyptian and Middle Eastern characters portrayed in American popular culture mediums did not fair well.  In an August 2019 The Hollywood Reporter article, “Ms. Marvel, Muslim Identity and a Changing Hollywood” written by Sheraz Farooqi, Muslim characterization is often “pigeonholed into a villainous stereotype; they are terrorists with heavy accents. […] or just bad guy fodder for our heroes to mow down…” Muslim men are often bearded, talk with a heavy accent, angry, and are driven by conservative ideologies; for example, look at successful films like Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg), True Lies (1994, James Cameron), The Siege (1998, Edward Zwick), or the recent London Has Fallen (2016, Babak Najafi).  The same stereotypes populated American television viewing experience.  Not mentioned in Farooqi’s article, but just as important, was the casting of non-Middle Eastern actors to Middle Eastern roles in American films and television, which excluded their own agency and experience that they could bring to these roles.

CBR.com reporter Latonya Pennington gathered together “15 Muslim Characters in Comics You Should Know” in an article dated February 3, 2017, and included a long list of superhero characters including Wilson’s Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), a Pakistani-Muslim living in the U.S.  This was the first comic in which a Muslim character headlined their own title.  Other than Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, about her childhood in Iran (translated into English in 2003/2004), there are no other Middle Eastern non-superhero characters mentioned in the list.

So, where does this put Cairo at the time of its release in 2007?  First, the graphic novel challenged well-worn Muslim stereotypes by taking place in Cairo and by having an international cast (Egyptian, Israeli, Lebanses-American, American) in which to explore and step away from the stereotypical Muslim portrayals.  Wilson’s efforts to capture her experiences and engagement with Cairo and its inhabitants resulted in one of the first Western sequential stories to provide a positive view of a Middle Eastern culture.  It resonated with American audiences, and, in late 2007, Cairo was named one of the best graphic novels of the year by Publishers WeeklySchool Library Journal named the paperback edition one of the Best Graphic Novels for High School Students in 2008 while in 2009, the American Library Association named Cairo one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens.


Critical Analysis
Fulbright scholar and professor emeritus of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Dr. Jack Shaheen dedicated much of his career to challenging and giving visibility to Arabs and Muslims.  In his seminal essay, “The Comic Book Arab,” published in The Link (November-December 1991, Vol. 24 No. 5), he studied the vast field of comic books, identifying three categories of Middle Eastern character stereotypes:

Repulsive Terrorist
These individuals are portrayed as “fanatics who wish to subjugate the western world through a reign of terror” in an us vs. them mentality.  Individuals in this group are overweight, uncouth, and whose appearance is unkept (facial hair for example).  They are angry, dangerous, and armed and ready to engage in violent acts against others.

Sinister Sheikh
“With his dark sunglasses, white headdress and fierce beard, the sheikhs of comic book lore vary little in the malevolence of their aspiration to world domination.” These individuals are evil super villains driving towards fulfilling their maniacal plans.  They are often associated with big business and have unlimited money to bankroll their plans.

Rapacious Bandit
Individuals in this group tend to fall into one of two subcategories.  They may be killers, but they tend to be backward and a more localized threat.  Of the three categories, among this group is a subset of characters that are more balanced, helpful, and sympathetic; however, this goal is seldom achieved.

In Shaheen’s research, he mentions the silencing nature of women stereotypes in the comics he reviewed.  He compared that women in a profession, such as dancer, had some voice (dialogue), but that women as housewives, often did not, particularly when wearing a full-body-length naqab.  Shaheen notes these women are “voiceless, featureless, and, for all [intents] purposes, mindless, she is wholly devoid of personality.”  Complicating women’s position in the story are those occasions when a Middle Eastern woman and an American man (hero) are attracted to and/or trust each other; as a result, “Arab men react with hostility to such events.”  Interactions between Arab men and western women are “almost without exception icy, overflowing with hate, lust, and mutual contempt.”  Educators Marvin Wingfield and Bushra Karaman state in their essay, “Arab Stereotypes and American Educators,” published in ADC in 2007 (the same year as Cairo’s release), that “The Arab world – 22 countries, the locus of several world religions, a multitude of ethnic and linguistic groups, and hundreds of years of history – is reduced to a few simplistic images” which are overwhelmingly negative and heavily reliant on skewed generalizations.

Wilson sought to change the pervasive stereotypes with Cairo.  In an NPR interview conducted November 20, 2007, Wilson discussed, “A lot of the characteristics of the people who are in the book are drawn from experiences that either I have had or people close to me have had in the Middle East.  Emotionally, and also in some sense of – politically, I am drawing on the lives and the positions and the feelings of people that I know, you know, who have lived in the Middle East or who have a background that kind of draws them to these places.”  Although Wilson uses a stereotypical villain and henchmen, for her main group of protagonists, she plays off opposing traits as a method of exploring each character’s motivations and their journey of growth in the story.  There are three pivotal relationship moments that showcase each character’s uniqueness and growth in their respective situations.

Jibreel and Kate
Kate meets Jibreel as she seeks assistance in finding her hotel.  He states she is brave but should not be wandering alone.  Jibreel states he will help her by walking her to the hotel, and Kate catches herself as she begins to compare Jibreel’s generosity to the societal disconnect she is used to back home (Orange County, CA).  They are kidnapped and find themselves in the Under-Nile.  Feeling the stress of the situation and wondering if they will find their way back to Cairo, Kate and Jibreel find they are at odds with each other’s philosophical beliefs, and they engage in a heated argument.  The all-seeing devil is aware of their weaknesses, and he seeks to pit the pair against each other by exploiting their intolerance for each other's cultural and personal beliefs.  He tries to provoke Jibreel and Kate, two rational individuals, to violently attack each other.  Jibreel finds strength in his love for others while Kate draws on her beliefs, and by teaming together they find compassion and defeat the devil.  Through their characters, readers witness that compassion is stronger than violent means.




Tova and Ashraf
Politics and culture dictate they should be enemies.  He is a drug smuggler, and she is a special forces soldier.  They could not be more different, but after an initially bumpy start – at gunpoint, Tova demands Ashraf take her to the border – they find common ground.  Not the usual masculine hero and weaker female sidekick scenario, they work together as team by drawing on each other’s strengths.  Ashraf’s machismo appears late in the story when he feels protective of Tova because of the romantic feelings he has for her.  In turn, Tova grapples with war, because she realizes it is a war that she and Ashraf have inherited.  While it is true that there were no housewives represented in this story, Tova represents a female perspective that is not typical.  Additionally, she has her own voice, which is well represented in Cairo.   




Shams and Shaheed
Shams does not look like any of Shaheen’s three stereotypes, and through this character Wilson conveys a mystical journey of a djinn that draws the ensemble cast, but especially Shaheed.   As a djinn, Shams knows what Shaheed has been up to and exactly why he was headed to Beirut.  The djinn is the young man’s voice of reason and wisdom.  The djinn also represents the one person who believes that Shaheed is a good person and has potential to find his life’s path.  Shaheed is so willing to sacrifice his life, but Shams helps him find strength and, more importantly, the will to live.  As a result, the two form a special bond and represent the mystical aspects of Cairo.  




While Wilson relies on established stereotypes for the villain and his henchmen (especially Waleed), she successfully challenges those tropes when it comes to the main protagonists.  She pairs up each character by partnering them with their opposite, be it philosophical, political, cultural, and - in two of the pairings - by gender.  In each pairing and in the larger narrative, readers experience a diverse group of characters living life in another part of the world that has so often been depicted as full of terrorists, an angry group of people quick to violence – essentially, no redeeming attributes; however, Wilson tells a compelling and new story that reflects a more realistic view of an ancient Middle East city and its people.  

Although this essay has focused specifically on the text, Perker’s art brings to life this wonderful city and the cast of characters whose stories readers follow.  His inks and shadows are well done, and it is easy to forget that the visuals are only in black-and-white tones.  Perker emphasizes the action through panel orientation, but not to the detriment of Wilson’s storytelling.  It was an excellent partnership.

Relevancy Today
A dozen years later, does Cairo have relevancy today? In a word, yes.  Wingfield and Karaman state, “Prejudice and discrimination against Arab Americans is often rooted in negative stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims.”  This extends to ethnic groups of other countries that are portrayed in American popular culture mediums.  In Shaheen’s closing remarks, he states that these simple stereotypes do an “injustice to a people who have made tremendous contributions to society.”  Stereotypes establish generalizations that influence our media, and breeds ignorance.  More damaging, though, is the impact of negative stereotypes on the group being generalized, especially for young viewers who are impressionable and seeking role models in which to emulate.

Strides are being made, but there is always more that can and should be done.  As an industry, it’s important to give fair representation to groups under-represented, because it gives voice to groups of people we do not usually hear and see.  It is an opportunity to expand storytelling with less familiar, but no less interesting, characters that bring experiences and their culture to life.  As readers, we should seek out resources that will balance our reading and present us with more accurate details that inform us.  Stories like Cairo break down stereotypes and reveal not only a rich culture, but also a modern culture of people with similar goals, likes, challenges.  









          

Kenya retains seat at global maritime council

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Kenya has retained its seat on the Council of the International Maritime Organisation, giving it a chance to continue playing a role in global shipping rule making. The vote on Friday evening in London saw 174 member states take part with Kenya retaining its seat under Category C of 20 countries usually reserved for those with special interest in maritime transport or navigation. In Africa, Morocco, South Africa, Liberia and Egypt are the other members of Category C. Kenya holds special interests in maritime transport and navigation as the coastal, port and flag state “whose strategic location along the Eastern Africa coast makes it a most important cog in the wheel of steering global shipping,” according to Maritime Principal Secretary Nancy Karigithu who led the delegation to the polls. “Our re-election to Council will ensure continued representation of a major geographic area in Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes region consisting of the countries Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda,” she said on Saturday. Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu, also the Permanent Representative to the IMO, said he was delighted by the vote result. “It confirms the world’s confidence on our leadership around maritime transport and safety, and our commitment to the Blue Economy,” he said. Kenya joined the IMO in 1973 and was first elected to the Council under Category “C” in 2001 and has been re-elected in subsequent elections to date, the last being in 2017. It is one seat at a UN agency where Kenya has dominated lately. But this election saw heavy lobbying. Some marine and shipping giants like Sweden, Nigeria and Liberia lost their bids. Qatar, a wealthy oil producer as well as Saudi Arabia also lost out. The IMO is the specialised agency that determines rules on shipping safety and environment. With more than 80 per cent of global trade running on seas, the IMO’s regulatory framework determines how shipping lines and ports operate. By The Eastafrica 

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Kenya takes up Nile Basin leadership

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Kenya is now chair of the Nile Council of Ministers and will be led by Water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui. Mr Chelugui takes over from Burundi’s Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Dr Deo-Guide Rurema. The handover was done at a pre-conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, where the Council outlined an ambitious plan for the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). Regional system On Friday, the Council of Ministers led by NBI Secretariat under the executive director of NBI Prof Seifeldin Hamad Abdalla launched the $5.5 million Nile Basin Regional Hydro-Met System that will enable NBI member states to share reliable data for monitoring of the Nile Basin resources as well as collect data to inform planning to prevent potential conflicts over the use of the Nile waters, said Mr Chelugui. The launch was attended by Water ministers from NBI member states, the Nile Technical Advisory Committee, stakeholders and civil society organisations. The Hydro-Met System project funded by the European Union and the government of Government, will include 79 hydrological monitoring stations, 322 meteorological monitoring stations and upgraded water quality laboratories. To-do list As the chair, Kenya will lead the initiative for a period of one year and is seeking to transform it into a co-operation like other basins around the world. “We want to transform it to a co-operation where equitable use of water resources is practised,” said Mr Chelugui. Top of the to-do list for Mr Chelugui is bringing back Egypt to the Initiative. Egypt left in 2010 to protest the signing of the Co-operative Framework Agreement (CFA) by some member countries, a pact that it was opposed to. Currently, six countries have signed the CFA—Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi—of which only four—Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda — have ratified while Kenya is in the process of ratifying after signing it on May 19, this year. Ethiopia has already deposited the CFA with the African Union, while Sudan reviewed its position in 2010. “We intend to employ persuasion and diplomacy to bring back Egypt. We want to reach consensus and reconciliation on the issues which made the state leave,” Mr Chelugui added. Egypt, on the other hand, wants an alternative agreement which will allow other Nile Basin countries to do projects along the River Nile. The country still stands by the 1929 Nile Waters Agreement and the 1959 agreement between itself and Sudan. Other members of the NBI are South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea as an observer state. River Nile upstream countries have been pushing joint projects, and there is an interconnection and power generation project between Kenya and Uganda (Lessos-Tororo- Bujagali), which is expected to increase cross-border power trade and access to reliable and affordable energy and reduce operational costs, said Mr Chelugui. By The Eastafrica

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Les Pharaons Etudes Egyptiennes Histoire Religion Cryptographie Caricature Avec 19 Dessins Empruntes Surtout Aux Edifices Des Bords Du Nil 2 Gravures Hors Texte Et Un Tableau Comparatif Des Alphabets Egyptiens Des Transcriptions Employes Par Divers Egyptologues Auteur Ollivierbeauregard Gratienmichel Editeur A Fontemoing Editeur Annee 1896

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Les Pharaons Etudes Egyptiennes Histoire Religion Cryptographie Caricature Avec 19 Dessins Empruntes Surtout Aux Edifices Des Bords Du Nil 2 Gravures Hors Texte Et Un Tableau Comparatif Des Alphabets Egyptiens Des Transcriptions Employes Par Divers Egyptologues Auteur Ollivierbeauregard Gratienmichel Editeur A Fontemoing Editeur Annee 1896
          

Opera All Over the Map

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See this story at GayCityNews.com.

BY DAVID SHENGOLD

Community News Group

Montreal offers a lot of classical music — as well as diversity, much of historical and architectural interest, fine restaurants, and a designated Gay Village not far via Metro or even by foot from the venues where the two operas I saw were performed. (Like many such ‘hoods, it’s said to be less gay than back in the day.)

“Lucia di Lammermoor” (November 9), from Opéra de Montréal, filled the vast, modern Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, named for a longtime Met conductor married in turn to fine second-tier divas Queena Mario and Rose Bampton. As Lucia, Kathleen Kim took over rehearsals on a week’s notice from the vocally more opulent but usually dramatically static Albina Shagimuratova. The company was lucky to get Kim, a diminutive, vulnerable stage figure with some interpretive guts and notably good staccati. Her voice lacks much weight below and high E flats were not on this occasion stellar, but she more than earned her check.

The production’s raison d’etre and highest achievement was the very first Edgardo of locally bred and trained tenor star Frédéric Antoun. A very credible Romantic hero, Antoun sang extremely well in good style, balancing Gallic float with Latin ping in his phrasing. He offered — in key! — one of the best final scenes since Alfredo Kraus’ long tenure in the great role, this despite being ludicrously upstaged by five (!!!) ghosts, an ill-advised hallmark “innovation” (as if!) of Michael Cavanagh’s otherwise clunkily old fashioned staging in the late Robert O’Hearn’s “Victor Book of the Opera”-worthy sets.

Cavanagh and routine conductor Fabrizio Ventura — who allowed far too many 1970s-style held final high notes — also cut the dramatically crucial Wolf’s Crag Tower scene, something one doesn’t expect at an international house. This gave Gregory Dahl’s seasoned, professional Enrico not much to do. Oleg Tsibulko’s solidly unremarkable Raimondo got his scene with Lucia. Rising tenor Mario Bahg sounded wonderful in Arturo’s brief but exposed duties, and Florence Bourg contributed a sonorous Alisa, unfazed by high Bs.

The next day brought — Antoun’s work aside — a far more interesting occasion in Opera McGill’s “Clemenza di Tito.” Michael Hidetoshi Mori’s fluid, intelligent production ingeniously blended modern choral dress with Ginette Grenier’s compelling period robes; using much more of the recitative (farmed out by Mozart to an assistant), Mori and the impressive conductor Stephen Hargreaves made this sometimes static opera compelling and exciting to a diverse public.

All the students cast showed accomplishment. Maddie Studt’s Sesto proved outstandingly credible visually, vocally and technically. The Vitellia, Avery Lafrentz, had a comic blast and showed a mettlesome, wide-ranging voice that should settle in. Olivier Gagnon was vivid and agile if not always dulcet in Tito’s tricky music; in a sudden misstep, Hargreaves rushed him through the crucial finale. Elisabeth Boudreault furnished an appealing Servilia ready for professional stages. Any music-minded visitor to Montreal should check out McGill’s calendar.

At November 14’s Boston Symphony concert, later repeated in New York, Austrian soprano Genia Kuehmeier, long away for North America, confirmed her high vocal quality in Mahler’s Fourth and honorably followed the composer’s prescribed dynamics. Andris Nelsons didn’t channel much interpretive specificity with his technically top-notch players’ work. The concert’s takeaway was the truly sensational playing of Leif Ove Andsnes in Grieg’s flashy, derivative Piano Concerto.

The next night Carnegie hosted the Chicago Symphony under Riccardo Muti in a program focused on Rome. Bizet’s youthful “Roma”, despite some initially intriguing channeling of brass chords reminiscent of “Tannhaeuser,” proved an exercise in spurious orchestral color; to my surprise the string section seemed under-rehearsed, which they were assuredly not in the final work, Respighi’s facile showpiece “The Pines of Rome.” In between came the real deal: Berlioz’s cantata “La mort de Cléopâtre,” a practice run for his later heroine Didon in “Les troyens.” Muti gets Berlioz and shook the heavens, as did Joyce DiDonato in a terrifically impressive demonstration of meaningful French declamation, stage savvy, and the vocal chops (up to ringing high B flats) to evoke the Egyptian ruler’s pride, regret, and desperate resolve. The crowd veritably shouted its approval; high time for her Didon to occupy a local throne!

Unlike New York, our nation’s capital still has a flourishing concert organization, Washington Concert Opera. November 24’s “Hamlet” offered the kind of wow-I’m-glad-to-be-present experience that one associates with great evenings when the much-missed Opera Orchestra of New York presented such nonpareil stars as Mariella Devia, Gabriela Benacková, and Renato Bruson. Ambroise Thomas’ score — here shorn of the ballet — may not be adequate to Shakespeare’s play (what could be?) but can boast several very fine scenes. Antony Walker let us hear the usually suppressed original final scene, with a (somewhat) happy ending in which Hamlet, Gertrude, Polonius, and Laertes all survive.

Jacques Imbrailo, best known for Billy Budd and Pelleas, proved very impressive as a Byronic, style-imbued Prince of Denmark, bringing an emo Ralph Fiennes vibe to his dramatic performance and using layered dynamics to fill out the portions — like the much-derided drinking song, actually clever in context — somewhat heavily scored for his sonorous lyric baritone. Lisette Oropesa also achieved a musical and theatrical triumph as Ophelia, finding the part’s hurt and pathos as well as the terrific staccati and chromatic scales; she has become an excellent interpreter of French opera.

The others, while satisfying, needed some further Gallic stylistic coaching. Eve Gigliotti brought a wide-ranging, dramatically implicated sound to Gertrude, a fine part, and Jonas Hacker dispatched Laertes’ limited but not easy music with flair. If his Claudius sounded rather weathered, Tom Fox has kept his range and his stage artistry.

Walker had assembled several other imposing low-voiced singers in Matthew Scollin (Horatio/ First Gravedigger), Brian Kontes (Ghost, channeling “Semiramide”), and Timothy Bruno (Polonius). Walker’s forces, while not perfect throughout, played with intent. It was an exciting evening.

David Shengold (shengold@yahoo.com) writes about opera for many venues.

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Evangelism or hospitality — or both?

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By Olu Brown

Some may contend that there is a stark difference between evangelism and hospitality, but I believe that in twenty-first-century culture they are the same strategy reflected differently, as rays from a diamond in the sun. Historically, many local churches have designed their evangelism and hospitality efforts to include the election of a six- to nine-member team, cookies in the lobby for visitors, and follow-up via poorly-printed form letters delivered by the US Postal Service. Before today, this form of evangelism and hospitality worked because, for the most part in the US, we were seeking and reaching the loyalty generation.

This generation grew up in a time in America when loyalty was king. People from this generation stayed with a company, denomination, or community organization even if they disagreed with its creed or practices or if they had unhappy experiences. These individuals would work for their employer for decades and, upon retirement, receive a small cake in a less-than-plush company break room, the latest and greatest paper certificate with a raised gold-star sticker, and handshakes from coworkers who were quietly miserable with their own careers, secretly wishing that the retirement party was for them. Truly we owe a great deal to these forerunners who’ve been so loyal—our wonderful institutions, endowments, and many of our scientific, religious, and technological achievements. Many of these individuals who built and nurtured most of our local churches and larger denominations were a congregation’s prime customers for the early form of evangelism and hospitality. Fifty years ago, we could simply hang a cross in a new sanctuary, place an “open for business” sign on the front door, and rightly expect as a direct result that people would enter the building and experience the power of God.

Today it’s an entirely different story and landscape, requiring a different design, approach, and execution. The early form of evangelism and hospitality is no longer optimal; it doesn’t help local churches connect with the communities around them. Today, we are no longer trying to reach only the “loyalty” generation. We are also seeking the “relational” generation. The relational generation is a uniquely creative group, craving relationships that are not formed or nurtured primarily through traditional or outdated institutions. As the relational generation came into being, many denominations and local churches failed to maintain a pulse on the current developing beneath the flow of the loyalty generation.

The deep undercurrent that our predecessors missed was the future presence of today’s relational generation, which is best explained from the passage in Exodus 1:8 (NLT): “Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done.” We were so certain that the loyalty generation would have children and grandchildren who would be similarly loyal. However, in 2019 we know that this isn’t the case as we continue to witness a decline in American Christian churches—a decline that some find to be incredibly frightening. While the decline may be scary, it’s also at least motivating, causing an energetic mobilization of church leaders to research and develop new ideas and practices for our denominations and local churches.

So, the solution for twenty-first-century local congregations is to learn how to reach a new and profoundly creative relational generation while still connecting to the loyalty generation.

We can actually live out this solution by practicing good ol’ evangelism and hospitality — except that we execute in fresh and different ways. We are fresh and different when we realize that evangelism and hospitality today is more than knocking on doors, inviting neighbors to the upcoming Vacation Bible School, and providing visitors with lobby cookies on Sunday mornings. Contemporary, good ol’ evangelism and hospitality is actually making real and lasting relationships, developing a strategy called “zip code presence.” This strategy means sitting with leaders from our congregations to map out our churches’ zip codes in five- to ten-mile radius circles accompanied by questions like “Who are the schools’ principals? Who is the police chief? Who is the fire chief? Who are the business owners? Where are the apartments, the young people, the seniors, and the nonprofit organizations?” Like most churches and leaders, we will leave these kinds of meetings with more questions than answers, which is a good result, one that means our churches have the opportunity to be a twenty-first-century relational faith community. Then we can be committed to connecting with our immediate communities so that our congregations can truly be witnesses for Jesus Christ. Actually, we would not have enough room in any of our churches if we fully committed to this practice of evangelism and hospitality using zip code presence and diligently sought the answers to our questions.

Finally, once we ignite zip code evangelism and hospitality in our local churches, we have to go one step further to commit to and practice “extreme” hospitality. This type of hospitality is best defined by the following three statements: All people are welcome. All people are worthy. All people have a place. This type of extreme hospitality will make authentic and lasting places for those in our communities with whom we connect via the zip code evangelism tool. My hope is that we don’t spend much time debating evangelism vs. hospitality. Rather, I hope that we recognize and use these strategies as complementary tools and powerful connectors to the world around us, deciding to practice evangelism and hospitality on a new level — fresh, different, yet somehow familiar.


This article originally appeared at Ministry Matters in May 2015. 


          

December 2: 2 Chronicles 1; 1 John 1; Micah 7; Luke 16

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With family: 2 Chronicles 1; 1 John 1

2 Chronicles 1 (Listen)

Solomon Worships at Gibeon

Solomon the son of David established himself in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and made him exceedingly great.

Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to all the leaders in all Israel, the heads of fathers' houses. And Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon, for the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness, was there. (But David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.) Moreover, the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the LORD. And Solomon and the assembly sought it1 out. And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

Solomon Prays for Wisdom

In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said to God, “You have shown great and steadfast love to David my father, and have made me king in his place. O LORD God, let your word to David my father be now fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?” 11 God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.” 13 So Solomon came from2 the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel.

Solomon Given Wealth

14 Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 And the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stone, and he made cedar as plentiful as the sycamore of the Shephelah. 16 And Solomon's import of horses was from Egypt and Kue, and the king's traders would buy them from Kue for a price. 17 They imported a chariot from Egypt for 600 shekels3 of silver, and a horse for 150. Likewise through them these were exported to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Or him
[2] 1:13 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew to
[3] 1:17 A shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

(ESV)

1 John 1 (Listen)

The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our1 joy may be complete.

Walking in the Light

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Footnotes

[1] 1:4 Some manuscripts your

(ESV)

In private: Micah 7; Luke 16

Micah 7 (Listen)

Wait for the God of Salvation

  Woe is me! For I have become
    as when the summer fruit has been gathered,
    as when the grapes have been gleaned:
  there is no cluster to eat,
    no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.
  The godly has perished from the earth,
    and there is no one upright among mankind;
  they all lie in wait for blood,
    and each hunts the other with a net.
  Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well;
    the prince and the judge ask for a bribe,
  and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul;
    thus they weave it together.
  The best of them is like a brier,
    the most upright of them a thorn hedge.
  The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come;
    now their confusion is at hand.
  Put no trust in a neighbor;
    have no confidence in a friend;
  guard the doors of your mouth
    from her who lies in your arms;1
  for the son treats the father with contempt,
    the daughter rises up against her mother,
  the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
    a man's enemies are the men of his own house.
  But as for me, I will look to the LORD;
    I will wait for the God of my salvation;
    my God will hear me.
  Rejoice not over me, O my enemy;
    when I fall, I shall rise;
  when I sit in darkness,
    the LORD will be a light to me.
  I will bear the indignation of the LORD
    because I have sinned against him,
  until he pleads my cause
    and executes judgment for me.
  He will bring me out to the light;
    I shall look upon his vindication.
10   Then my enemy will see,
    and shame will cover her who said to me,
    “Where is the LORD your God?”
  My eyes will look upon her;
    now she will be trampled down
    like the mire of the streets.
11   A day for the building of your walls!
    In that day the boundary shall be far extended.
12   In that day they2 will come to you,
    from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
  and from Egypt to the River,3
    from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.
13   But the earth will be desolate
    because of its inhabitants,
    for the fruit of their deeds.
14   Shepherd your people with your staff,
    the flock of your inheritance,
  who dwell alone in a forest
    in the midst of a garden land;4
  let them graze in Bashan and Gilead
    as in the days of old.
15   As in the days when you came out of the land of Egypt,
    I will show them5 marvelous things.
16   The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might;
  they shall lay their hands on their mouths;
    their ears shall be deaf;
17   they shall lick the dust like a serpent,
    like the crawling things of the earth;
  they shall come trembling out of their strongholds;
    they shall turn in dread to the LORD our God,
    and they shall be in fear of you.

God's Steadfast Love and Compassion

18   Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
    and passing over transgression
    for the remnant of his inheritance?
  He does not retain his anger forever,
    because he delights in steadfast love.
19   He will again have compassion on us;
    he will tread our iniquities underfoot.
  You will cast all our6 sins
    into the depths of the sea.
20   You will show faithfulness to Jacob
    and steadfast love to Abraham,
  as you have sworn to our fathers
    from the days of old.

Footnotes

[1] 7:5 Hebrew bosom
[2] 7:12 Hebrew he
[3] 7:12 That is, the Euphrates
[4] 7:14 Hebrew of Carmel
[5] 7:15 Hebrew him
[6] 7:19 Hebrew their

(ESV)

Luke 16 (Listen)

The Parable of the Dishonest Manager

16 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures1 of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures2 of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world3 are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth,4 so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The Law and the Kingdom of God

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16 “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.5 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Divorce and Remarriage

18 “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side.6 The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ 27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house—28 for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

Footnotes

[1] 16:6 About 875 gallons or 3,200 liters
[2] 16:7 Between 1,000 and 1,200 bushels or 37,000 to 45,000 liters
[3] 16:8 Greek age
[4] 16:9 Greek mammon, a Semitic word for money or possessions; also verse 11; rendered money in verse 13
[5] 16:16 Or everyone is forcefully urged into it
[6] 16:22 Greek bosom; also verse 23

(ESV)


          

December 1: 1 Chronicles 29; 2 Peter 3; Micah 6; Luke 15

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 29; 2 Peter 3

1 Chronicles 29 (Listen)

Offerings for the Temple

29 And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God. So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 3,000 talents1 of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house,2 and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself3 today to the LORD?”

Then the leaders of fathers' houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king's work. They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics4 of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

David Prays in the Assembly

10 Therefore David blessed the LORD in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O LORD, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. 13 And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.5 16 O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. 18 O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. 19 Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”

20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the LORD your God.” And all the assembly blessed the LORD, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the LORD and to the king. 21 And they offered sacrifices to the LORD, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the LORD, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. 22 And they ate and drank before the LORD on that day with great gladness.

Solomon Anointed King

And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the LORD, and Zadok as priest.

23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king in place of David his father. And he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him. 24 All the leaders and the mighty men, and also all the sons of King David, pledged their allegiance to King Solomon. 25 And the LORD made Solomon very great in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The Death of David

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. 27 The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 28 Then he died at a good age, full of days, riches, and honor. And Solomon his son reigned in his place. 29 Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the Chronicles of Samuel the seer, and in the Chronicles of Nathan the prophet, and in the Chronicles of Gad the seer, 30 with accounts of all his rule and his might and of the circumstances that came upon him and upon Israel and upon all the kingdoms of the countries.

Footnotes

[1] 29:4 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
[2] 29:4 Septuagint; Hebrew houses
[3] 29:5 Or ordaining himself; Hebrew filling his hand
[4] 29:7 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams
[5] 29:15 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew hope, or prospect

(ESV)

2 Peter 3 (Listen)

The Day of the Lord Will Come

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,1 not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies2 will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.3

11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Final Words

14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Footnotes

[1] 3:9 Some manuscripts on your account
[2] 3:10 Or elements; also verse 12
[3] 3:10 Greek found; some manuscripts will be burned up

(ESV)

In private: Micah 6; Luke 15

Micah 6 (Listen)

The Indictment of the Lord

  Hear what the LORD says:
  Arise, plead your case before the mountains,
    and let the hills hear your voice.
  Hear, you mountains, the indictment of the LORD,
    and you enduring foundations of the earth,
  for the LORD has an indictment against his people,
    and he will contend with Israel.
  “O my people, what have I done to you?
    How have I wearied you? Answer me!
  For I brought you up from the land of Egypt
    and redeemed you from the house of slavery,
  and I sent before you Moses,
    Aaron, and Miriam.
  O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised,
    and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him,
  and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal,
    that you may know the righteous acts of the LORD.”

What Does the Lord Require?

  “With what shall I come before the LORD,
    and bow myself before God on high?
  Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
  Will the LORD be pleased with1 thousands of rams,
    with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
  He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the LORD require of you
  but to do justice, and to love kindness,2
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Destruction of the Wicked

  The voice of the LORD cries to the city—
    and it is sound wisdom to fear your name:
  “Hear of the rod and of him who appointed it!3
10     Can I forget any longer the treasures4 of wickedness in the house of the wicked,
    and the scant measure that is accursed?
11   Shall I acquit the man with wicked scales
    and with a bag of deceitful weights?
12   Your5 rich men are full of violence;
    your inhabitants speak lies,
    and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.
13   Therefore I strike you with a grievous blow,
    making you desolate because of your sins.
14   You shall eat, but not be satisfied,
    and there shall be hunger within you;
  you shall put away, but not preserve,
    and what you preserve I will give to the sword.
15   You shall sow, but not reap;
    you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil;
    you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine.
16   For you have kept the statutes of Omri,6
    and all the works of the house of Ahab;
    and you have walked in their counsels,
  that I may make you a desolation, and your7 inhabitants a hissing;
    so you shall bear the scorn of my people.”

Footnotes

[1] 6:7 Or Will the Lord accept
[2] 6:8 Or steadfast love
[3] 6:9 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[4] 6:10 Or Are there still treasures
[5] 6:12 Hebrew whose
[6] 6:16 Hebrew For the statutes of Omri are kept
[7] 6:16 Hebrew its

(ESV)

Luke 15 (Listen)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins,1 if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to2 one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’3 22 But the father said to his servants,4 ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

Footnotes

[1] 15:8 Greek ten drachmas; a drachma was a Greek coin approximately equal in value to a Roman denarius, worth about a day's wage for a laborer
[2] 15:15 Greek joined himself to
[3] 15:21 Some manuscripts add treat me as one of your hired servants
[4] 15:22 Or bondservants

(ESV)


          

November 22: 1 Chronicles 17; James 4; Jonah 1; Luke 6

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 17; James 4

1 Chronicles 17 (Listen)

The Lord's Covenant with David

17 Now when David lived in his house, David said to Nathan the prophet, “Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD is under a tent.” And Nathan said to David, “Do all that is in your heart, for God is with you.”

But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: It is not you who will build me a house to dwell in. For I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up Israel to this day, but I have gone from tent to tent and from dwelling to dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel, and I have been with you wherever you have gone and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall waste them no more, as formerly, 10 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover, I declare to you that the LORD will build you a house. 11 When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. 12 He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. 13 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from him who was before you, 14 but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.’” 15 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

David's Prayer

16 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 17 And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations,1 O LORD God! 18 And what more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. 19 For your servant's sake, O LORD, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things. 20 There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 21 And who is like your people Israel, the one2 nation on earth whom God went to redeem to be his people, making for yourself a name for great and awesome things, in driving out nations before your people whom you redeemed from Egypt? 22 And you made your people Israel to be your people forever, and you, O LORD, became their God. 23 And now, O LORD, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house be established forever, and do as you have spoken, 24 and your name will be established and magnified forever, saying, ‘The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel's God,’ and the house of your servant David will be established before you. 25 For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. Therefore your servant has found courage to pray before you. 26 And now, O LORD, you are God, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you, for it is you, O LORD, who have blessed, and it is blessed forever.”

Footnotes

[1] 17:17 Or and you look upon me as a man of high rank
[2] 17:21 Septuagint, Vulgate other

(ESV)

James 4 (Listen)

Warning Against Worldliness

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions1 are at war within you?2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!3 Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers.4 The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Boasting About Tomorrow

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 Greek pleasures; also verse 3
[2] 4:1 Greek in your members
[3] 4:4 Or You adulteresses!
[4] 4:11 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

In private: Jonah 1; Luke 6

Jonah 1 (Listen)

Jonah Flees the Presence of the Lord

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil1 has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD.

But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.”

Jonah Is Thrown into the Sea

And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. Then they said to him, “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” For the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” 13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard2 to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows.

A Great Fish Swallows Jonah

17 3 And the LORD appointed4 a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Footnotes

[1] 1:2 The same Hebrew word can mean evil or disaster, depending on the context; so throughout Jonah
[2] 1:13 Hebrew the men dug in [their oars]
[3] 1:17 Ch 2:1 in Hebrew
[4] 1:17 Or had appointed

(ESV)

Luke 6 (Listen)

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

On a Sabbath,1 while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

A Man with a Withered Hand

On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The Twelve Apostles

12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude

17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Jesus Pronounces Woes

24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25 “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Love Your Enemies

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic2 either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Build Your House on the Rock

46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.3 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Footnotes

[1] 6:1 Some manuscripts On the second first Sabbath (that is, on the second Sabbath after the first)
[2] 6:29 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
[3] 6:48 Some manuscripts founded upon the rock

(ESV)


          

November 20: 1 Chronicles 15; James 2; Amos 9; Luke 4

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 15; James 2

1 Chronicles 15 (Listen)

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

15 David1 built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the LORD had chosen them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister to him forever. And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the LORD to its place, which he had prepared for it. And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with 120 of his brothers; of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with 220 of his brothers; of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with 130 of his brothers; of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with 200 of his brothers; of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with 80 of his brothers; 10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with 112 of his brothers. 11 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.

16 David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 18 and with them their brothers of the second order, Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers Obed-edom and Jeiel. 19 The singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were to sound bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were to play harps according to Alamoth; 21 but Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were to lead with lyres according to the Sheminith. 22 Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it. 23 Berechiah and Elkanah were to be gatekeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, should blow the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were to be gatekeepers for the ark.

25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing. 26 And because God helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.

29 And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating, and she despised him in her heart.

Footnotes

[1] 15:1 Hebrew He

(ESV)

James 2 (Listen)

The Sin of Partiality

My brothers,1 show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called?

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Faith Without Works Is Dead

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good2 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 14
[2] 2:16 Or benefit

(ESV)

In private: Amos 9; Luke 4

Amos 9 (Listen)

The Destruction of Israel

I saw the Lord standing beside1 the altar, and he said:

  “Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake,
    and shatter them on the heads of all the people;2
  and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
    not one of them shall flee away;
    not one of them shall escape.
  “If they dig into Sheol,
    from there shall my hand take them;
  if they climb up to heaven,
    from there I will bring them down.
  If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel,
    from there I will search them out and take them;
  and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
    there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
  And if they go into captivity before their enemies,
    there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
  and I will fix my eyes upon them
    for evil and not for good.”
  The Lord GOD of hosts,
  he who touches the earth and it melts,
    and all who dwell in it mourn,
  and all of it rises like the Nile,
    and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
  who builds his upper chambers in the heavens
    and founds his vault upon the earth;
  who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
  the LORD is his name.
  “Are you not like the Cushites to me,
    O people of Israel?” declares the LORD.
  “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
    and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?
  Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom,
    and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
    except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
      declares the LORD.
  “For behold, I will command,
    and shake the house of Israel among all the nations
  as one shakes with a sieve,
    but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
10   All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
    who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’

The Restoration of Israel

11   “In that day I will raise up
    the booth of David that is fallen
  and repair its breaches,
    and raise up its ruins
    and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12   that they may possess the remnant of Edom
    and all the nations who are called by my name,”3
    declares the LORD who does this.
13   “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD,
    “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
    and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
  the mountains shall drip sweet wine,
    and all the hills shall flow with it.
14   I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
    and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
  they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
    and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15   I will plant them on their land,
    and they shall never again be uprooted
    out of the land that I have given them,”
      says the LORD your God.

Footnotes

[1] 9:1 Or on
[2] 9:1 Hebrew all of them
[3] 9:12 Hebrew; Septuagint (compare Acts 15:17) that the remnant of mankind and all the nations who are called by my name may seek the Lord

(ESV)

Luke 4 (Listen)

The Temptation of Jesus

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

  “‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
    and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

  “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to guard you,’

11 and

  “‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Jesus Begins His Ministry

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18   “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
  He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19   to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers1 in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Demon

31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha!2 What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

Jesus Heals Many

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

Jesus Preaches in Synagogues

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.3

Footnotes

[1] 4:27 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[2] 4:34 Or Leave us alone
[3] 4:44 Some manuscripts Galilee

(ESV)


          

November 19: 1 Chronicles 13–14; James 1; Amos 8; Luke 3

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 13–14; James 1

1 Chronicles 13–14 (Listen)

The Ark Brought from Kiriath-Jearim

13 David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it1 in the days of Saul.” All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

Uzzah and the Ark

So David assembled all Israel from the Nile2 of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio3 were driving the cart. And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets.

And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God. 11 And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzza4 to this day. 12 And David was afraid of God that day, and he said, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?” 13 So David did not take the ark home into the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 14 And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had.

David's Wives and Children

14 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also masons and carpenters to build a house for him. And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel.

And David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David fathered more sons and daughters. These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet.

Philistines Defeated

When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went out against them. Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim. 10 And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up, and I will give them into your hand.” 11 And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through5 my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 12 And they left their gods there, and David gave command, and they were burned.

13 And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. 14 And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. 17 And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations.

Footnotes

[1] 13:3 Or him
[2] 13:5 Hebrew Shihor
[3] 13:7 Or and his brother
[4] 13:11 Perez-uzza means the breaking out against Uzzah
[5] 14:11 Baal-perazim means Lord of breaking through

(ESV)

James 1 (Listen)

Greeting

James, a servant1 of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,

To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

Greetings.

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.4 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Hearing and Doing the Word

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19
[3] 1:10 Or a wild flower
[4] 1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning

(ESV)

In private: Amos 8; Luke 3

Amos 8 (Listen)

The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me,

  “The end1 has come upon my people Israel;
    I will never again pass by them.
  The songs of the temple2 shall become wailings3 in that day,”
      declares the Lord GOD.
  “So many dead bodies!”
  “They are thrown everywhere!”
  “Silence!”
  Hear this, you who trample on the needy
    and bring the poor of the land to an end,
  saying, “When will the new moon be over,
    that we may sell grain?
  And the Sabbath,
    that we may offer wheat for sale,
  that we may make the ephah small and the shekel4 great
    and deal deceitfully with false balances,
  that we may buy the poor for silver
    and the needy for a pair of sandals
    and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
  The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
  “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.
  Shall not the land tremble on this account,
    and everyone mourn who dwells in it,
  and all of it rise like the Nile,
    and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
  “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD,
    “I will make the sun go down at noon
    and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10   I will turn your feasts into mourning
    and all your songs into lamentation;
  I will bring sackcloth on every waist
    and baldness on every head;
  I will make it like the mourning for an only son
    and the end of it like a bitter day.
11   “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
    “when I will send a famine on the land—
  not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
    but of hearing the words of the LORD.
12   They shall wander from sea to sea,
    and from north to east;
  they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
    but they shall not find it.
13   “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
    shall faint for thirst.
14   Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria,
    and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
  and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,’
    they shall fall, and never rise again.”

Footnotes

[1] 8:2 The Hebrew words for end and summer fruit sound alike
[2] 8:3 Or palace
[3] 8:3 Or The singing women of the palace shall wail
[4] 8:5 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams

(ESV)

Luke 3 (Listen)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

  “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
  ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,1
    make his paths straight.
  Every valley shall be filled,
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
  and the crooked shall become straight,
    and the rough places shall become level ways,
  and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics2 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;3 with you I am well pleased.”4

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,5 the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Footnotes

[1] 3:4 Or crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord
[2] 3:11 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
[3] 3:22 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved
[4] 3:22 Some manuscripts beloved Son; today I have begotten you
[5] 3:27 Greek Salathiel

(ESV)


          

November 18: 1 Chronicles 11–12; Hebrews 13; Amos 7; Luke 2

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 11–12; Hebrews 13

1 Chronicles 11–12 (Listen)

David Anointed King

11 Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, even when Saul was king, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the LORD your God said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over my people Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.

David Takes Jerusalem

And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, that is, Jebus, where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land. The inhabitants of Jebus said to David, “You will not come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. David said, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and commander.” And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first, so he became chief. And David lived in the stronghold; therefore it was called the city of David. And he built the city all around from the Millo in complete circuit, and Joab repaired the rest of the city. And David became greater and greater, for the LORD of hosts was with him.

David's Mighty Men

10 Now these are the chiefs of David's mighty men, who gave him strong support in his kingdom, together with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel. 11 This is an account of David's mighty men: Jashobeam, a Hachmonite, was chief of the three.1 He wielded his spear against 300 whom he killed at one time.

12 And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite. 13 He was with David at Pas-dammim when the Philistines were gathered there for battle. There was a plot of ground full of barley, and the men fled from the Philistines. 14 But he took his2 stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and killed the Philistines. And the LORD saved them by a great victory.

15 Three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David at the cave of Adullam, when the army of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. 16 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. 17 And David said longingly, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!” 18 Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and took it and brought it to David. But David would not drink it. He poured it out to the LORD 19 and said, “Far be it from me before my God that I should do this. Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? For at the risk of their lives they brought it.” Therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.

20 Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, was chief of the thirty.3 And he wielded his spear against 300 men and killed them and won a name beside the three. 21 He was the most renowned4 of the thirty5 and became their commander, but he did not attain to the three.

22 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man6 of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two heroes of Moab. He also went down and struck down a lion in a pit on a day when snow had fallen. 23 And he struck down an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits7 tall. The Egyptian had in his hand a spear like a weaver's beam, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian's hand and killed him with his own spear. 24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and won a name beside the three mighty men. 25 He was renowned among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

26 The mighty men were Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 27 Shammoth of Harod,8 Helez the Pelonite, 28 Ira the son of Ikkesh of Tekoa, Abiezer of Anathoth, 29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, 30 Maharai of Netophah, Heled the son of Baanah of Netophah, 31 Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the people of Benjamin, Benaiah of Pirathon, 32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, 33 Azmaveth of Baharum, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, 34 Hashem9 the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shagee the Hararite, 35 Ahiam the son of Sachar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, 36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, 37 Hezro of Carmel, Naarai the son of Ezbai, 38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Hagri, 39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai of Beeroth, the armor-bearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, 42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a leader of the Reubenites, and thirty with him, 43 Hanan the son of Maacah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, 44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite, 45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite, 46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, 47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.

The Mighty Men Join David

12 Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsmen. The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah; also Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu of Anathoth, Ishmaiah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty; Jeremiah,10 Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah, Eluzai,11 Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite; Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites; And Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains: Ezer the chief, Obadiah second, Eliab third, 10 Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth, 11 Attai sixth, Eliel seventh, 12 Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth, 13 Jeremiah tenth, Machbannai eleventh. 14 These Gadites were officers of the army; the least was a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand. 15 These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.

16 And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. 17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.” 18 Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,

  “We are yours, O David,
    and with you, O son of Jesse!
  Peace, peace to you,
    and peace to your helpers!
    For your God helps you.”

Then David received them and made them officers of his troops.

19 Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, “At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.”) 20 As he went to Ziklag, these men of Manasseh deserted to him: Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, chiefs of thousands in Manasseh. 21 They helped David against the band of raiders, for they were all mighty men of valor and were commanders in the army. 22 For from day to day men came to David to help him, until there was a great army, like an army of God.

23 These are the numbers of the divisions of the armed troops who came to David in Hebron to turn the kingdom of Saul over to him, according to the word of the LORD. 24 The men of Judah bearing shield and spear were 6,800 armed troops. 25 Of the Simeonites, mighty men of valor for war, 7,100. 26 Of the Levites 4,600. 27 The prince Jehoiada, of the house of Aaron, and with him 3,700. 28 Zadok, a young man mighty in valor, and twenty-two commanders from his own fathers' house. 29 Of the Benjaminites, the kinsmen of Saul, 3,000, of whom the majority had to that point kept their allegiance to the house of Saul. 30 Of the Ephraimites 20,800, mighty men of valor, famous men in their fathers' houses. 31 Of the half-tribe of Manasseh 18,000, who were expressly named to come and make David king. 32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. 33 Of Zebulun 50,000 seasoned troops, equipped for battle with all the weapons of war, to help David12 with singleness of purpose. 34 Of Naphtali 1,000 commanders with whom were 37,000 men armed with shield and spear. 35 Of the Danites 28,600 men equipped for battle. 36 Of Asher 40,000 seasoned troops ready for battle. 37 Of the Reubenites and Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh from beyond the Jordan, 120,000 men armed with all the weapons of war.

38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. 39 And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had made preparation for them. 40 And also their relatives, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of flour, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

Footnotes

[1] 11:11 Compare 2 Samuel 23:8; Hebrew thirty, or captains
[2] 11:14 Compare 2 Samuel 23:12; Hebrew they . . . their
[3] 11:20 Syriac; Hebrew three
[4] 11:21 Compare 2 Samuel 23:19; Hebrew more renowned among the two
[5] 11:21 Syriac; Hebrew three
[6] 11:22 Syriac; Hebrew the son of a valiant man
[7] 11:23 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters
[8] 11:27 Compare 2 Samuel 23:25; Hebrew the Harorite
[9] 11:34 Compare Septuagint and 2 Samuel 23:32; Hebrew the sons of Hashem
[10] 12:4 Hebrew verse 5
[11] 12:5 Hebrew verse 6
[12] 12:33 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks David

(ESV)

Hebrews 13 (Listen)

Sacrifices Pleasing to God

13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

  “The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
  what can man do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent1 have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Benediction

20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us2 that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

22 I appeal to you, brothers,3 bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes

[1] 13:10 Or tabernacle
[2] 13:21 Some manuscripts you
[3] 13:22 Or brothers and sisters

(ESV)

In private: Amos 7; Luke 2

Amos 7 (Listen)

Warning Visions

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, he was forming locusts when the latter growth was just beginning to sprout, and behold, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings. When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,

  “O Lord GOD, please forgive!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”
  The LORD relented concerning this:
    “It shall not be,” said the LORD.

This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, the Lord GOD was calling for a judgment by fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land. Then I said,

  “O Lord GOD, please cease!
    How can Jacob stand?
    He is so small!”
  The LORD relented concerning this:
    “This also shall not be,” said the Lord GOD.

This is what he showed me: behold, the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

  “Behold, I am setting a plumb line
    in the midst of my people Israel;
    I will never again pass by them;
  the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
    and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
    and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Amos Accused

10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. 11 For thus Amos has said,

  “‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
    and Israel must go into exile
    away from his land.’”

12 And Amaziah said to Amos, “O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, and eat bread there, and prophesy there, 13 but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.”

14 Then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, “I was1 no prophet, nor a prophet's son, but I was a herdsman and a dresser of sycamore figs. 15 But the LORD took me from following the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ 16 Now therefore hear the word of the LORD.

  “You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel,
    and do not preach against the house of Isaac.’

17 Therefore thus says the LORD:

  “‘Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city,
    and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
    and your land shall be divided up with a measuring line;
  you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
    and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.’”

Footnotes

[1] 7:14 Or am; twice in this verse

(ESV)

Luke 2 (Listen)

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when1 Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,2 who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.3

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14   “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”4

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29   “Lord, now you are letting your servant5 depart in peace,
    according to your word;
30   for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.6 She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth

39 And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents7 saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?”8 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature9 and in favor with God and man.

Footnotes

[1] 2:2 Or This was the registration before
[2] 2:5 That is, one legally pledged to be married
[3] 2:7 Or guest room
[4] 2:14 Some manuscripts peace, good will among men
[5] 2:29 Or bondservant
[6] 2:37 Or as a widow for eighty-four years
[7] 2:48 Greek they
[8] 2:49 Or about my Father's business
[9] 2:52 Or years

(ESV)


          

November 16: 1 Chronicles 7–8; Hebrews 11; Amos 5; Luke 1:1–38

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 7–8; Hebrews 11

1 Chronicles 7–8 (Listen)

Descendants of Issachar

The sons1 of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four. The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their fathers' houses, namely of Tola, mighty warriors of their generations, their number in the days of David being 22,600. The son2 of Uzzi: Izrahiah. And the sons of Izrahiah: Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah, all five of them were chief men. And along with them, by their generations, according to their fathers' houses, were units of the army for war, 36,000, for they had many wives and sons. Their kinsmen belonging to all the clans of Issachar were in all 87,000 mighty warriors, enrolled by genealogy.

Descendants of Benjamin

The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, and Jediael, three. The sons of Bela: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri, five, heads of fathers' houses, mighty warriors. And their enrollment by genealogies was 22,034. The sons of Becher: Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Becher. And their enrollment by genealogies, according to their generations, as heads of their fathers' houses, mighty warriors, was 20,200. 10 The son of Jediael: Bilhan. And the sons of Bilhan: Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. 11 All these were the sons of Jediael according to the heads of their fathers' houses, mighty warriors, 17,200, able to go to war. 12 And Shuppim and Huppim were the sons of Ir, Hushim the son of Aher.

Descendants of Naphtali

13 The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shallum, the descendants of Bilhah.

Descendants of Manasseh

14 The sons of Manasseh: Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead. 15 And Machir took a wife for Huppim and for Shuppim. The name of his sister was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad, and Zelophehad had daughters. 16 And Maacah the wife of Machir bore a son, and she called his name Peresh; and the name of his brother was Sheresh; and his sons were Ulam and Rakem. 17 The son of Ulam: Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead the son of Machir, son of Manasseh. 18 And his sister Hammolecheth bore Ishhod, Abiezer, and Mahlah. 19 The sons of Shemida were Ahian, Shechem, Likhi, and Aniam.

Descendants of Ephraim

20 The sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead, whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to raid their livestock. 22 And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. 23 And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house.3 24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. 25 Rephah was his son, Resheph his son, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27 Nun4 his son, Joshua his son. 28 Their possessions and settlements were Bethel and its towns, and to the east Naaran, and to the west Gezer and its towns, Shechem and its towns, and Ayyah and its towns; 29 also in possession of the Manassites, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.

Descendants of Asher

30 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. 31 The sons of Beriah: Heber, and Malchiel, who fathered Birzaith. 32 Heber fathered Japhlet, Shomer, Hotham, and their sister Shua. 33 The sons of Japhlet: Pasach, Bimhal, and Ashvath. These are the sons of Japhlet. 34 The sons of Shemer his brother: Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram. 35 The sons of Helem his brother: Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal. 36 The sons of Zophah: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah. 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran, and Beera. 38 The sons of Jether: Jephunneh, Pispa, and Ara. 39 The sons of Ulla: Arah, Hanniel, and Rizia. 40 All of these were men of Asher, heads of fathers' houses, approved, mighty warriors, chiefs of the princes. Their number enrolled by genealogies, for service in war, was 26,000 men.

A Genealogy of Saul

Benjamin fathered Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth. And Bela had sons: Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan, and Huram. These are the sons of Ehud (they were heads of fathers' houses of the inhabitants of Geba, and they were carried into exile to Manahath): Naaman,5 Ahijah, and Gera, that is, Heglam, who fathered6 Uzza and Ahihud. And Shaharaim fathered sons in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives. He fathered sons by Hodesh his wife: Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10 Jeuz, Sachia, and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of fathers' houses. 11 He also fathered sons by Hushim: Abitub and Elpaal. 12 The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod with its towns, 13 and Beriah and Shema (they were heads of fathers' houses of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who caused the inhabitants of Gath to flee); 14 and Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth. 15 Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16 Michael, Ishpah, and Joha were sons of Beriah. 17 Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, 18 Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal. 19 Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20 Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21 Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath were the sons of Shimei. 22 Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23 Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24 Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25 Iphdeiah, and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. 26 Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27 Jaareshiah, Elijah, and Zichri were the sons of Jeroham. 28 These were the heads of fathers' houses, according to their generations, chief men. These lived in Jerusalem.

29 Jeiel7 the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon, and the name of his wife was Maacah. 30 His firstborn son: Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31 Gedor, Ahio, Zecher, 32 and Mikloth (he fathered Shimeah). Now these also lived opposite their kinsmen in Jerusalem, with their kinsmen. 33 Ner was the father of Kish, Kish of Saul, Saul of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal; 34 and the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal was the father of Micah. 35 The sons of Micah: Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. 36 Ahaz fathered Jehoaddah, and Jehoaddah fathered Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri fathered Moza. 37 Moza fathered Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38 Azel had six sons, and these are their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel. 39 The sons of Eshek his brother: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second, and Eliphelet the third. 40 The sons of Ulam were men who were mighty warriors, bowmen, having many sons and grandsons, 150. All these were Benjaminites.

Footnotes

[1] 7:1 Syriac (compare Vulgate); Hebrew And to the sons
[2] 7:3 Hebrew sons; also verses 10, 12, 17
[3] 7:23 Beriah sounds like the Hebrew for disaster
[4] 7:27 Hebrew Non
[5] 8:7 Hebrew and Naaman
[6] 8:7 Or Gera; he carried them into exile and fathered
[7] 8:29 Compare 9:35; Hebrew lacks Jeiel

(ESV)

Hebrews 11 (Listen)

By Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,1 they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Footnotes

[1] 11:37 Some manuscripts add they were tempted

(ESV)

In private: Amos 5; Luke 1:1–38

Amos 5 (Listen)

Seek the Lord and Live

Hear this word that I take up over you in lamentation, O house of Israel:

  “Fallen, no more to rise,
    is the virgin Israel;
  forsaken on her land,
    with none to raise her up.”

For thus says the Lord GOD:

  “The city that went out a thousand
    shall have a hundred left,
  and that which went out a hundred
    shall have ten left
    to the house of Israel.”

For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:

  “Seek me and live;
    but do not seek Bethel,
  and do not enter into Gilgal
    or cross over to Beersheba;
  for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
    and Bethel shall come to nothing.”
  Seek the LORD and live,
    lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
    and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
  O you who turn justice to wormwood1
    and cast down righteousness to the earth!
  He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
    and turns deep darkness into the morning
    and darkens the day into night,
  who calls for the waters of the sea
    and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
  the LORD is his name;
  who makes destruction flash forth against the strong,
    so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10   They hate him who reproves in the gate,
    and they abhor him who speaks the truth.
11   Therefore because you trample on2 the poor
    and you exact taxes of grain from him,
  you have built houses of hewn stone,
    but you shall not dwell in them;
  you have planted pleasant vineyards,
    but you shall not drink their wine.
12   For I know how many are your transgressions
    and how great are your sins—
  you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe,
    and turn aside the needy in the gate.
13   Therefore he who is prudent will keep silent in such a time,
    for it is an evil time.
14   Seek good, and not evil,
    that you may live;
  and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
    as you have said.
15   Hate evil, and love good,
    and establish justice in the gate;
  it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
    will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord:

  “In all the squares there shall be wailing,
    and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! Alas!’
  They shall call the farmers to mourning
    and to wailing those who are skilled in lamentation,
17   and in all vineyards there shall be wailing,
    for I will pass through your midst,”
      says the LORD.

Let Justice Roll Down

18   Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!
    Why would you have the day of the LORD?
  It is darkness, and not light,
19     as if a man fled from a lion,
    and a bear met him,
  or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall,
    and a serpent bit him.
20   Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light,
    and gloom with no brightness in it?
21   “I hate, I despise your feasts,
    and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22   Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
    I will not accept them;
  and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,
    I will not look upon them.
23   Take away from me the noise of your songs;
    to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
24   But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

25 “Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 26 You shall take up Sikkuth your king, and Kiyyun your star-god—your images that you made for yourselves, 27 and I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.

Footnotes

[1] 5:7 Or to bitter fruit
[2] 5:11 Or you tax

(ESV)

Luke 1:1–38 (Listen)

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,1 of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed2 to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”3 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”4

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born5 will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant6 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Greek Zacharias
[2] 1:27 That is, legally pledged to be married
[3] 1:28 Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women!
[4] 1:34 Greek since I do not know a man
[5] 1:35 Some manuscripts add of you
[6] 1:38 Greek bondservant; also verse 48

(ESV)


          

November 15: 1 Chronicles 5–6; Hebrews 10; Psalms 148–150; Amos 4

 Cache   

With family: 1 Chronicles 5–6; Hebrews 10

1 Chronicles 5–6 (Listen)

Descendants of Reuben

The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, so that he could not be enrolled as the oldest son; though Judah became strong among his brothers and a chief came from him, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph), the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-pileser1 king of Assyria carried away into exile; he was a chief of the Reubenites. And his kinsmen by their clans, when the genealogy of their generations was recorded: the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah, and Bela the son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel, who lived in Aroer, as far as Nebo and Baal-meon. He also lived to the east as far as the entrance of the desert this side of the Euphrates, because their livestock had multiplied in the land of Gilead. 10 And in the days of Saul they waged war against the Hagrites, who fell into their hand. And they lived in their tents throughout all the region east of Gilead.

Descendants of Gad

11 The sons of Gad lived over against them in the land of Bashan as far as Salecah: 12 Joel the chief, Shapham the second, Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. 13 And their kinsmen according to their fathers' houses: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia and Eber, seven. 14 These were the sons of Abihail the son of Huri, son of Jaroah, son of Gilead, son of Michael, son of Jeshishai, son of Jahdo, son of Buz. 15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, son of Guni, was chief in their fathers' houses, 16 and they lived in Gilead, in Bashan and in its towns, and in all the pasturelands of Sharon to their limits. 17 All of these were recorded in genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

18 The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men who carried shield and sword, and drew the bow, expert in war, 44,760, able to go to war. 19 They waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. 20 And when they prevailed2 over them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands, for they cried out to God in the battle, and he granted their urgent plea because they trusted in him. 21 They carried off their livestock: 50,000 of their camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys, and 100,000 men alive. 22 For many fell, because the war was of God. And they lived in their place until the exile.

The Half-Tribe of Manasseh

23 The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous from Bashan to Baal-hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. 24 These were the heads of their fathers' houses: Epher,3 Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty warriors, famous men, heads of their fathers' houses. 25 But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. 26 So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.

4

Descendants of Levi

The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The children of Amram: Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. The sons of Aaron: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Eleazar fathered Phinehas, Phinehas fathered Abishua, Abishua fathered Bukki, Bukki fathered Uzzi, Uzzi fathered Zerahiah, Zerahiah fathered Meraioth, Meraioth fathered Amariah, Amariah fathered Ahitub, Ahitub fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Ahimaaz, Ahimaaz fathered Azariah, Azariah fathered Johanan, 10 and Johanan fathered Azariah (it was he who served as priest in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem). 11 Azariah fathered Amariah, Amariah fathered Ahitub, 12 Ahitub fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Shallum, 13 Shallum fathered Hilkiah, Hilkiah fathered Azariah, 14 Azariah fathered Seraiah, Seraiah fathered Jehozadak; 15 and Jehozadak went into exile when the LORD sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

16 5 The sons of Levi: Gershom, Kohath, and Merari. 17 And these are the names of the sons of Gershom: Libni and Shimei. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their fathers. 20 Of Gershom: Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son, 21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeatherai his son. 22 The sons of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, 23 Elkanah his son, Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son, 24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son. 25 The sons of Elkanah: Amasai and Ahimoth, 26 Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, 27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. 28 The sons of Samuel: Joel6 his firstborn, the second Abijah.7 29 The sons of Merari: Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzzah his son, 30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, and Asaiah his son.

31 These are the men whom David put in charge of the service of song in the house of the LORD after the ark rested there. 32 They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting until Solomon built the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they performed their service according to their order. 33 These are the men who served and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman the singer the son of Joel, son of Samuel, 34 son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, 35 son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, 36 son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, 37 son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, 38 son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel; 39 and his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, namely, Asaph the son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, 40 son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, 41 son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, 42 son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, 43 son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi. 44 On the left hand were their brothers, the sons of Merari: Ethan the son of Kishi, son of Abdi, son of Malluch, 45 son of Hashabiah, son of Amaziah, son of Hilkiah, 46 son of Amzi, son of Bani, son of Shemer, 47 son of Mahli, son of Mushi, son of Merari, son of Levi. 48 And their brothers the Levites were appointed for all the service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

49 But Aaron and his sons made offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense for all the work of the Most Holy Place, and to make atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded. 50 These are the sons of Aaron: Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son, 51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son, 52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son, 53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

54 These are their dwelling places according to their settlements within their borders: to the sons of Aaron of the clans of Kohathites, for theirs was the first lot, 55 to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasturelands, 56 but the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. 57 To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge: Hebron, Libnah with its pasturelands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasturelands, 58 Hilen with its pasturelands, Debir with its pasturelands, 59 Ashan with its pasturelands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasturelands; 60 and from the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon,8 Geba with its pasturelands, Alemeth with its pasturelands, and Anathoth with its pasturelands. All their cities throughout their clans were thirteen.

61 To the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the clan of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities. 62 To the Gershomites according to their clans were allotted thirteen cities out of the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Manasseh in Bashan. 63 To the Merarites according to their clans were allotted twelve cities out of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. 64 So the people of Israel gave the Levites the cities with their pasturelands. 65 They gave by lot out of the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin these cities that are mentioned by name.

66 And some of the clans of the sons of Kohath had cities of their territory out of the tribe of Ephraim. 67 They were given the cities of refuge: Shechem with its pasturelands in the hill country of Ephraim, Gezer with its pasturelands, 68 Jokmeam with its pasturelands, Beth-horon with its pasturelands, 69 Aijalon with its pasturelands, Gath-rimmon with its pasturelands, 70 and out of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Aner with its pasturelands, and Bileam with its pasturelands, for the rest of the clans of the Kohathites.

71 To the Gershomites were given out of the clan of the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan with its pasturelands and Ashtaroth with its pasturelands; 72 and out of the tribe of Issachar: Kedesh with its pasturelands, Daberath with its pasturelands, 73 Ramoth with its pasturelands, and Anem with its pasturelands; 74 out of the tribe of Asher: Mashal with its pasturelands, Abdon with its pasturelands, 75 Hukok with its pasturelands, and Rehob with its pasturelands; 76 and out of the tribe of Naphtali: Kedesh in Galilee with its pasturelands, Hammon with its pasturelands, and Kiriathaim with its pasturelands. 77 To the rest of the Merarites were allotted out of the tribe of Zebulun: Rimmono with its pasturelands, Tabor with its pasturelands, 78 and beyond the Jordan at Jericho, on the east side of the Jordan, out of the tribe of Reuben: Bezer in the wilderness with its pasturelands, Jahzah with its pasturelands, 79 Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its pasturelands; 80 and out of the tribe of Gad: Ramoth in Gilead with its pasturelands, Mahanaim with its pasturelands, 81 Heshbon with its pasturelands, and Jazer with its pasturelands.

Footnotes

[1] 5:6 Hebrew Tilgath-pilneser; also verse 26
[2] 5:20 Or they were helped to prevail
[3] 5:24 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew and Epher
[4] 5:26 Ch 5:27 in Hebrew
[5] 6:16 Ch 6:1 in Hebrew
[6] 6:28 Septuagint, Syriac (compare verse 33 and 1 Samuel 8:2); Hebrew lacks Joel
[7] 6:28 Hebrew and Abijah
[8] 6:60 Septuagint, Syriac (compare Joshua 21:17); Hebrew lacks Gibeon

(ESV)

Hebrews 10 (Listen)

Christ's Sacrifice Once for All

10 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, when Christ1 came into the world, he said,

  “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
    but a body have you prepared for me;
  in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ2 had offered for all tim