• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Daily Jot!
• Fortnight For Freedom Begins
• 66 Congressmen Defend Faith in the Military
• Today's Legislative Focus
• Southern Baptists Move Ahead!
• 120+ rockets fired at Israel
• The Good News Corner
• Worship with Us Today!
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The Daily Brief Thursday, June 21, 2012
"I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." (Isaiah 45:3)
The Daily Brief
1. US plans significant military presence in Kuwait to respond to region conflicts - Fox News
The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report.
- Lord, we stand firmly on Your Word and Your Name in this situation, and ask Your protection over our troops. We ask that no conflict arise in the region outside of Your prophetic timeline.
- "And the Lord appointed a set time, saying, Tomorrow the Lord shall do this thing in the land." [Exodus 9:5]
2. Debt crisis: EU leaders set to announce 750bn Spain and Italy bailout deal - UK Telegraph
Under the proposed deal, two European rescue funds -- the 500 billion-euro European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the 250-billion euro European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) -- will be able to buy bonds issued by beleaguered European countries.
- Father, the plans of men are nothing in your eyes, so we pray for the people of Europe and the currencies involved. We ask that Your wisdom prevail over the instability of the Euro.
- "The heart of the prudent gets knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge." [Proverbs 18:15]
3.a) G20 warns US over deficit amid fears it is the next crisis to hit - UK Telegraph
America has been given a rare warning from G20 countries not to botch its own deficit-cutting measures amid fears that the world's biggest economy could fall off a "fiscal cliff" next year.
b) Putin worried more about US dollar than euro - AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was "heartened" by Europe's approach to the eurozone crisis but wished the G20 would have paid more attention to the size of US foreign debt.
- Lord, as the US continues to teeter on the edge of financial disaster, we pray for sound judgment on the part of our leaders. We thank You for Your promise to be with us in times of trouble, and we believe that Your hand is stronger than fiscal collapse.
- "Therefore You delivered them in to the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried to You, You heard them from heaven; and according to Your manifold mercies You gave them saviors, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies." [Nehemiah 9:27]
4. As Iran nuke talks fail, stage set for tougher sanctions - Israel Hayom
High-level nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers fizzled Tuesday, creating increased opportunity for Israel to use the setback to argue military force is the only way to stop Tehran from developing atomic arms.
- Father, as these talks continue to bring about nothing but delays that benefit Iran, we pray that You continue to intervene to protect Your people against their fanatic plans.
- "The bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterward his mouth shall be filled with gravel." [Proverbs 20:17]
5. China and Japan secure Iran oil supply, bypassing EU sanctions - RT
Japan is one of the major buyers of Iranian crude oil, and says it is going to provide insurance coverage for Iranian tankers, while China is offering to use its own vessels for delivery in bid to circumvent EU crude sanctions.
- Father, we see in this action that Japan and China need Your heart more than ever before. Draw them, Heavenly Father, and reveal Your truth to them. Let them see the treachery of their actions, and let conscience rise up in the nations to renounce and rebuke the evil of the Iranian regime.
- "wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness." [Proverbs 2:13]
6. Supreme Court could reveal healthcare ruling Thursday - LA Times
Television cameras will surround the Supreme Court on Thursday morning, as they did Monday, anticipating something that may, again, not happen.
- Lord, we pray for a favorable decision in this most important case!
- "run to and fro through the streets - and seek - if you can find a man, if there be any that executes judgment, that seeks the truth, and I will pardon it." [Jeremiah 5:1]
7. Supreme Court rules against FCC profanity, nudity policy - AP
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against the FCC's policy regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast television. In an 8-0 decision, the high court threw out fines and sanctions imposed by the Federal Communications Commission. The case involved some uncensored curse words and brief nudity on various networks, including Fox.
"Because the FCC failed to give FOX or ABC fair notice prior to the broadcasts in question that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found actionably indecent, the Commissions' standards as applied to these broadcasts were vague," the Supreme Court said in its opinion. The court said the FCC is "free to modify its current indecency policy" in light of the ruling.
- In spite of what the Supreme Court has ruled, the High Court of Heaven is very clear on this matter: Christians are advised to be mindful of God's commandments, from which speech is not considered exempt. May we each find the grace to obey God's law regarding profanity, that we may shine as lights of truth in this ever-darkening world. We petition the Lord to make a way for this ruling to be overturned as the FCC "modifies its current indecency policy" in light of the ruling.
- "O, Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling." (1 Timothy: 2:16)
"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness therein is a breach of the spirit." (Proverbs 15:4)
8. Commerce Secretary Bryson resigns - The Hill
Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned his Cabinet post less than two weeks after taking medical leave. Bryson, who temporarily stepped down following two back-to-back car crashes in California earlier this month, including a hit and run, informed President Obama on Wednesday night of his decision.
- Ask our Lord to grant His wisdom to the president as he seeks one to fill this position. Pray for the continued healing of Mr. Bryson, including healing his soul unto salvation. In Jesus' Name, amen.
- "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"For You, Lord, are most high above all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods." (Psalm 97:9)
1. Israel predicts increased Beduin terror activity - Jerusalem Post
As Israel completes construction of a fence along its border with Egypt, concern is growing within the defense establishment that Beduin who are dependent on the smuggling industry will increase their involvement in terrorism.
2. Official PA terminology guide: Instead of "terror" say "resistance" - Palestinian Media Watch
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information has published a book instructing Palestinians which words to use and calling to replace "the Israeli and American dissemination of poisoned terms." The book, which is called Terminology in Media, Culture and Politics, includes a chart with the "poisoned terms" to be replaced by Palestinian terms.
3. IDF chief: We'll meet any threat, any time - Ynet News
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz commented Wednesday on the current round of escalation between Israel and the Gaza-based terror groups, saying that the IDF will meet any attempt to infringe on Israel's security with force.
4. Despite mediation efforts, Gaza fighting escalates - Israel Hayom
As of press time on Wednesday afternoon, some 60 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel since late Monday night. In one rocket attack near the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council on Tuesday night, one Border Policeman sustained moderate shrapnel injuries and three others were injured lightly. IAF warplanes attacked seven terror targets in Gaza over the past two days in response to the rocket fire.
5. IDF hits Gaza targets as 55 rockets pound Israel - Jerusalem Post
Rockets rained down on southern Israel on Wednesday as the IDF struck back at Hamas and Global Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip despite Egyptian calls for an immediate ceasefire.
6. As nuclear talks fail, U.S. experts urge Obama to weigh military option on Iran - Ha'aretz
American officials and experts urged U.S. President Barack Obama this week to take a tougher stance on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, with some advising the administration to provide Israel with the arms needed for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The Daily Jot!
When the law doesn't uphold the law
There is a contentious battle taking place between the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the White House over whether the Administration should give up information that could implicate it in the Justice Department's gun running scheme that resulted in the murder of a Federal Agent. The man who occupies the Oval Office has invoked Executive Privilege to keep from the Committee what Chairman Darrell Issa says is "information the committee needs to complete its work." The Oversight Committee voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for stonewalling its investigation where the Administration knowingly supplied Mexican drug dealers with weapons.
The New York Times reports, "The president's move to invoke executive privilege was the first time that he had asserted his secrecy powers in response to a Congressional inquiry. It elevated a fight over whether Mr. Holder must turn over additional documents about the gun case into a constitutional struggle over the separation of powers." The Times goes on to report that Holder has "been associated with some of the administration's most liberal policies, including refusing to defend a law barring federal recognition of same sex marriages, challenging an Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigrants and invoking civil rights laws to block Republican-led efforts to impose voter photo ID laws."
The contempt charges and the use of Executive Privilege underscore a greater problem than just being caught red handed breaking the law by allowing the illegal sale of weapons to drug cartels. The problem is that this Administration, through its Justice Department, refuses to enforce the law duly passed by Congress. There are many more instances that the New York Times did not mention in its story, such as the White House refusal to allow off shore drilling and the refusal to enforce border security and prosecute illegal aliens. The greater problem is that this Administration chooses to enforce some laws and not others, and if the American people do not challenge this, it will set precedent and be allowed to stand.
The Founding Fathers rejected Democracy for a Constitutional Republic because a Constitutional Republic is the rule of law as established by a representative system. Democracy, in its true form, is the rule of the majority without regard for the law. Democracy is a step away from dictatorship in that might often makes right. We know from the Bible that refusing to follow YHVH's law results in deep trouble. Yeshua said in Matthew 24:12, "And because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." The lawlessness he spoke of is sin, not obeying YHVH's law. When we as Christians have the choice and we elect sinful men to represent us, the result is lawlessness. This Administration is an excellent example.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Fortnight For Freedom Begins
Today Catholics across America are beginning a two-week period of prayer, fasting and public action for the preservation of religious liberty in America.
This extraordinary call to prayer and action by the largest religious denomination in America is a response to the unprecedented assault by the Obama Administration against long-respected norms and traditions -- including forcing religious institutions to pay for medical services and procedures that violate their core values to redefining marriage.
And here's the latest assault on religious liberty: A lesbian couple in New York, where they recently legalized same-sex "marriage," is suing a Catholic hospital for refusing to recognize their relationship.
The culture war is real, and the Obama Administration is throwing the full force of the government behind the radical, secularist left.
The "Fortnight For Freedom" concludes at noon on July 4th, when Catholic churches around the country will simultaneously ring their church bells. This is tremendous symbolism: Celebrating our Day of Independence, as well as calling the faithful to action. As has been said so many times, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
If you would like to learn more about the "Fortnight For Freedom," click here.
ACTION ITEM: Use this "Fortnight For Freedom" to encourage your like-minded friends and family members to register to vote. And don't assume they are registered. Millions of Americans who think they are in fact are not. Now is the time for men and women of faith to take a stand for religious liberty.
66 Members of Congress Call Attention to Alarming Pattern of Attacks on Faith in the Air Force
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, along with Congressman Diane Black and Congressman Todd Akin, sent a letter signed by 66 Members of Congress urging Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to investigate a pattern of hostility towards faith in the United States Air Force. The letter calls on Secretary Panetta to issue clear Department of Defense policy guidance, consistent with our Constitution, to preserve the place of religious expression in the military at large.
From removing Latin references to God, to barring commanders from notifying airmen of Chaplain Corps programs, members of Congress are concerned about the pattern that is emerging from the Air Force. Congressman Forbes stated: "The Air Force has repeatedly capitulated to demands from groups that seek to remove all traces of faith from the military and the public square. When viewed individually, any of these actions is concerning. But taken together, they highlight an alarming pattern in the Air Force that we do not see in the other branches of the military. Those who sacrifice so much for our nation must be assured that they need not leave their faith at home when they volunteer to serve."
Congressman Black emphasized her concern, providing an example of a particularly troubling incident: "I am outraged that the religious liberties of those serving our nation are being encroached upon. The current policy changes within the Air Force are unprecedented and without merit. For instance, suspending the elective ethics briefing due to the mere reference of Bible verses is unacceptable. I hope that Secretary Panetta agrees and will issue clear policy guidance that protects religious expression in the military."
The Air Force has over the last year taken extraordinary steps in removing religious symbols and references from the service. Congressman Akin stated: "When our sons and daughters join the military, they are not signing away their First Amendment right to religious liberty. Unfortunately, it seems that some parts of the military are intent on prohibiting religious expression rather than protecting it. I hope that the Secretary of Defense will respond to this strong letter from over sixty Members of Congress by issuing clear protections for the religious liberty of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines."
It is vital that a consistent policy in regards to religious liberties is issued by the Department of Defense. Religious liberties should be guarded and protected in all of our Armed Forces.
A copy of the letter is available here. (Source: Office of Congressman J. Randy Forbes)
- Offer a chorus of praise that these 66 members of Congress have stepped forward to defend the religious liberties of our men and women in uniform. Lift up prayer that the Department of Defense will listen and take heed. Our servicemen must be strong in spirit, as well in physical ability, if we are to gain the victory on the battlefield. In Jesus' name, amen.
- "And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him." (I John 5:15)
Today's Legislative Focus
From The Madison Project
Once again, the farm bill (S.3240) will be the dominant issue in the Senate for the week. As we've noted before [read our previous edition here], most Republicans are ready to capitulate on the underlying spending levels and programs for farms and welfare that are in this 5-year authorization bill. The point of contention is over how to proceed with amendments; There have been over 250 amendments filed by senators, but Harry Reid is only allowing a few to proceed. Last week, Reid and fellow Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, helped kill two prudent amendments; one would have vitiated sugar subsidies and the other would have block granted the Food Stamp program to the states.
Conservative concerns on underlying bill:
The Subsidies are back: Historically, the federal government has pumped billions into direct subsidies, crop insurance, conservation subsidies, marketing loans, disaster aid, trade barriers, commodity price supports, and production controls. As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Democrats and Republicans on the Agriculture Committee played a bait-and switch in which they eliminated the $5 billion in annual direct subsidies to farmers, but created a new shallow loss program. This new program, which would be added on top of the traditional crop insurance, scandalously guarantees farmers 90% of their recent annual income. However, there is another important angle to the story.
In a classic special interest lobbyist catfight (or in this case, a food fight), southern senators (mainly Republicans) rebelled against the bill. No - not because it subsided too much; they felt it subsided too little. They claimed that the new shallow loss program would only work to protect Midwestern farmers who grow corn and soybeans - crops that are valued near record highs. They felt that southern farmers - who grow rice and peanuts - would not stand to benefit as much from the shallow loss program, but would be hurt from the cuts to direct subsidies.
As is always the case in Washington, whenever there is a fight between handouts for special interest groups, they settle on the GCF - greatest common factor of them all. Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) have hatched a "compromise" that would reestablish the countercyclical subsidies for and raise target prices for all major commodities, except cotton. These handouts are triggered when a commodity price falls below a season-average "target price" established in the farm bill. Not only would those subsidies be reinstated (on top of the new shallow loss program for Midwestern crops), the target prices would be increased by 5-7%.
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ELECT BLACK PASTOR AS PRESIDENT
Here's some very good news amidst all the news about a possible implosion of the country: God has raised up a black pastor from New Orleans to boldly preach the Word of God, and proclaim the Gospel, and win people to faith in Jesus Christ in a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and now to lead the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is the nation's largest Protestant denomination with 16 million members and some 45,000 churches.
"The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has tapped Fred Luter, a pastor from New Orleans, to be its first African American president. Luter, who is running unopposed, is expected to be elected at next week's convention meeting in New Orleans," reports Christianity Today.
New Orleans is no easy place to be a pastor. It's a city that was nearly wiped out by a natural disaster, and is now a city with a murder rate ten times worse than any other city in America, even though it has fewer residents. (see also here, and here). But even against such odds, Luter has done it well.
And you've got to hear this man's message. I've posted excerpts from his message to the SBC on the blog -- it's a powerful case for not being ashamed of the Gospel. (Reported by: Joel Rosenberg)
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS STAND FOR MARRIAGE; MAKE HISTORY
Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, approved a resolution this week reaffirming that marriage is "the exclusive union of one man and one woman." The resolution also rejected attempts to equate same-sex "marriage" with the civil rights movement.
It is especially noteworthy that one of the authors of this resolution is Reverend Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. Reverend McKissic is black, as is the Southern Baptist Convention's newly-elected president, Reverend Fred Luter, Jr., of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Reverend Luter is the first black man to lead the Southern Baptist Convention, and his election says a lot about the genuine desire of religious conservatives to seek racial reconciliation. I hope that Reverend Luter will be a powerful voice for men and women of faith when it comes to fundamental issues like the sanctity of life and the meaning of marriage. (Gary Bauer)
120+ rockets fired at Israel
SOUTHERN ISRAEL SLAMMED BY ROCKET BARRAGE FROM GAZA
(Washington, D.C., June 21, 2012) -- "Since Monday, over 120 missiles have been fired into Israel, including more than 70 fired on Wednesday alone," reports the Times of Israel. "One rocket was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system near Netivot...Also Thursday morning, Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin announced classes in the seaside city would be canceled after two rockets were fired on the city Wednesday night. One rocket was shot down by Iron Dome and the second landed in an open area near the city. On Wednesday evening, Israeli Air Force jets bombed terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip following an unremitting rocket and mortar barrage on southern Israeli towns throughout the day." Latest updates on the blog. Please pray for peace, and pray for The Joshua Fund team as we seek to bless and assist Israelis living in these rocket zones.
(by Joel Rosenberg)
The Good News Corner
Man Praises God On Niagara Falls - LIVE ABC TV
Perhaps not the most prophetic event ever that we have posted, or perhaps THE MOST PROPHETIC event we have ever posted, is a link to a man walking from the USA to Canada. I have spoken in the past about an increased and improved connection (in so many words on Facebook) between the USA and Canada, and indeed the whole world.
The other night, and for the first time, Nik Wallenda walked across the Niagara Falls on a tight wire between the USA and CANADA under harsh conditions. He was actually "over-prepared" and he made sure to be so. God allows, even prophesied, that we would not "see it coming" what HE was about to do. He would say things like, "Eye has NOT seen, nor ear heard, what God has in store for His children."
Jesus told His disciples, "There are things you cannot bear now to hear." I'm sure ONE of those things was to bear how long HE, Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah, would wait to come back. But neither could they "grasp" or "bear" what human-kind would or even COULD conceive of during the ensuing 2000+ years.
Who could have foreseen such an event?
Oh, and by the way, this man, Nik Wallenda, praised Father God and Jesus, the Son on camera, on a live microphone, all the way across the tight wire. If you don't believe me or if you didn't see it, then here is the link for it again below.
Please do me a personal favor - flood the ABC news network with gratitude for airing this and not deleting out this man's praise to his Savior all the way across this wire from the USA to Canada.
Here is the link to the event shown on ABC.
Also, here is contact information for ABC to thank them for not deleting praise to God and His Son on a live mic. Most shows have an 8-second delay, so they could have deleted every reference, but they didn't.
To write to ABC here is their address:
ABC News, 7 West 66th Street, New York, NY 10023
Thank you for taking the extra time to thank ABC. I intend to join you!
Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
Worship with Us Today!
The Power of Your Name
Surely children weren't made for the streets
And fathers were not made to leave
Surely this isn't how it should be
Let Your Kingdom come
Surely nations were not made for war
Or the broken meant to be ignored
Surely this just can't be what You saw
Let Your Kingdom come
Here in my heart