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• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Culture War(s)
• Happy Hanukkah!
• And Merry Christmas, too!
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The Daily Brief - Tuesday December 20, 2011
"And the government shall rest upon His shoulder." (Isaiah 9:6 KJV)
The Daily Brief
1. U.S. Defense Secretary: Iran could get nuclear bomb within a year - AP
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Monday that Iran will have a nuclear weapon within one year, if not less. Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News, Leon Panetta said that it would probably take a year for Tehran to assemble a nuclear bomb, but said that one provision is if the Iranians have a hidden facility that "may be enriching fuel."
- Lord, we are praying that Iran will not be able to build a nuclear bomb. We pray for Leon Panetta and other leaders as they work to protect against evil and destruction. May they have wisdom and truth. According to Your word we trust that You will intervene for Your name's sake and for the sake of Your people. Continue to give us more revelation on how to pray. We also pray you will give us a President and leaders who understand the times biblically and can govern under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
- "Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice." (Jeremiah 22:13)
2. Alarm as Dutch lab creates highly contagious killer flu - Independent.UK
A deadly strain of bird flu with the potential to infect and kill millions of people has been created in a laboratory by European scientists - who now want to publish full details of how they did it. The discovery has prompted fears within the US Government that the knowledge will fall into the hands of terrorists wanting to use it as a bio-weapon of mass destruction.
- Lord, we ask for deliverance for Your people from the pestilence, from any deadly strains of disease. We pray that information about them not get into he hands of people intent on doing harm.
We pray, too, that scientists who do not know You would get revelation about You. and from You. We pray that the love and trust in You would increase, for love casts out fear. You are our protector and we thank you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- "Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge. His truth shall be your shield and buckler." (Psalm 91:3-6)
3. Activists plotting Egypt's fall, claims general - Financial Times
Egypt's military rulers accused pro-democracy demonstrators of being part of a "systematic plan to destroy" the country as clashes between the security services and angry youths continued for a fourth day on Monday.
- Lord, we pray for truth to come forth, and deception to be exposed in this turmoil in Egypt. We know the enemy's plans for destruction and we know that you are the restorer and redeemer. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done in Egypt. We pray for a godly leadership to be established in Egypt.
- "And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them." Isaiah 19:22
4. Philippine floods: President declares national calamity - BBC
Philippines President Benigno Aquino has declared a national calamity after a typhoon killed nearly 1,000 people. Typhoon Washi hit southern Mindanao island and surrounding areas at the weekend. Visiting the area, Mr Aquino reassured survivors the government would be there to help but reportedly acknowledged mistakes might have been made.
- Lord, we pray that these weather destructions would wake up people to know that You are the one and only true God. May there be repentance and turning to You. We pray for Your people who are ministering in these areas that they would be protected and have favor with the people and the government. May a fear of God of arise in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- '"Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bing them down to the earth with His hand." (Isaiah 28:2)
5. Christianity goes global as world's largest religion - CNN
Europe was the clear center of world Christianity one hundred years ago, but today the Americas are home to more than a third of all Christians. In fact, the United States has the world's largest Christian population, of more than 247 million, followed by Brazil and Mexico. China also appears on the list of top 10 largest Christian populations - with an estimated 67 million Christians, it has more followers of the faith than any western European country.
- Lord, we are thankful and encouraged to hear a report of Your kingdom expanding and pray that it will continue. We are thankful to live in a country with a third of the Christians but we ask for expansion of Your kingdom in the United States as well. We pray for an awakening for those who are asleep. We think of especially the Christians in China who have been persecuted like we have never known. We pray for a strengthening of the persecuted church. We pray that Your people all over the world be prepared to stand in the times to come.
May the cold and lukewarm become on fire with the Holy Spirit. We know that when the gospel has been preached to all the nations the end will come. We look forward to Your return. Help us to do our part in establishing Your kingdom further in this country and on the earth, Lord Jesus. Amen.
- "Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled!" And Jesus, answering them, began to say: "And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations." (Mark 13: 4, 5 & 10)
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" (Amos 3:7,8)
1. Egyptian Islamists: We'll negotiate with Israel - Ynet News
The radical Salafi movement's Al-Nour party, which is currently placed second in the Egyptian parliamentary elections behind the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party, has said it would be willing to negotiate with Israel under certain conditions, Ynet reported Tuesday.
2. Navy completing secret 2 year submarine upgrade - Jerusalem Post
Israel will boost its long-arm strategic capabilities with the reinstatement of one of its Dolphin-class submarines that underwent an unprecedented structural overhaul.
3. Israel forms corps for strategic strikes - UPI
Amid deepening tension between Iran and its principal adversaries -- the United States and Israel -- the Jewish state has formed a Special Forces command to carry out strategic strikes deep inside hostile territory.
4. Lebanon: Israel arranged rocket fire from Lebanon - Jerusalem Post
Lebanon believes that Israel organized the firing of rockets from southern Lebanese territory into the Jewish state in efforts to "undermine security and stability" in Lebanon, Lebanese English newspaper the Daily Star reported Tuesday. Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn told the Star that "The party that has launched mysterious rockets from the south is known," allegedly insinuating Israel.
5. 'Syrian conflict too complex for Western involvement' - Jerusalem Post
Western powers will not likely intervene to stop the crisis in Syria because of the "complexity" of the issue, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told Egyptian daily Al Shorouk Tuesday. "There won't be repeat of scenario we saw in Libya in Syria," Elaraby said, referring to the military assistance provided by NATO to Libyan rebels who overthrew the regime of leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The Culture War(s)
a) Pat Robertson Blasts SNL Tebow Skit: 'There's an Anti-Christian Bigotry' That's 'Disgusting' - Yahoo.com
Televangelist Pat Robertson doesn't mince words when it comes to faith and this time is no exception. The outspoken faith-keeper blasted Saturday Night Live's recent skit of Denver Bronco's quarterback Tim Tebow on Monday, calling the parody a "disgusting" attack on Christianity. Read more.
b) U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama-But Not Jesus - CNSNews.com
The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word "Christmas," or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ. Read more.
c. Franking Commission Limits Congressional Holiday Speech - CitizenLink
Expecting to get a Christmas card from your member of Congress this year? Don't hold your breath.
According to a Dec. 12 memo sent to members of the House of Representatives, none can use their official franking privileges - using taxpayer dollars to pay for postage - to send Christmas greetings to their constituents. Moreover, the Franking Commission - the six-member bipartisan group officially known as the Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards - told legislators they can't use the phrases "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" in any mail sent to voters this year. Read more.
As we sing the carols today, let's remember the Babe who was born in the manger, 2,000 years ago; and Who died triumphantly having overcome hell, death and the grave.
It is in HIM that we move, and live, and have our very being, and as we FORGIVE each one, He WILL triumph over ALL of our enemies.
For today, we FORGIVE the produces of Saturday Night Live, for they do not know Who it is they offend, and how powerful He is.
In the same manner, we FORGIVE those in authority who, either intentionally or by neglect, have failed to honor our King of Kings on that Capitol Christmas tree, for they know not what they do.
And finally, we FORGIVE the members of "the Franking Commission" (we have never heard of them, either), for they know not what THEY do.
- We ask our LORD to visit them in the night, with the FEAR of the Lord in their hearts, leading to salvation. Pray for those who despitefully use you. Pray!
- "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." (John 20:23)
Light One Candle
Light one candle for the Maccabee children,
Give thanks that their light didn't die.
And light one candle for the pain they endured,
When their right to exist was denied.
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand,
Light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemakers' time is at hand.
Don't let the light go out
It's lasted for so many years,
Don't let the light go out,
Let it shine through our love and our tears.
Light one candle for the strength that we need,
To never become our own foe,
Light one candle for those who are suffering,
Names we heard so long ago,
Light one candle for all we believe in,
That hate will not tear us apart,
Light one candle to bind us together,
For peace that's the song in our heart.
[You can listen to this classic song for Hanukkah, written by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, by going here.]
Tonight, we pause and thank the LORD for giving us His chosen people, through whom our Messiah has come. At sundown, each Jewish family will light one candle, which is then used to light one other, smaller candle, each day for the eight days of this celebration.
Happy Hanukkah to all of our friends of the Jewish faith, here in America and around the world. G-d bless you!
And Merry Christmas, too!
Three Songs to Worship the King . . .
1. Oh Holy Night . . .
2. Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
3. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel