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The Daily Brief Friday, January 18, 2012
". . . if anyone loves God, he is known by Him." (I Corinthians 8:3)
Guidelines for today's American Prayer Initiative can be found by going here.
Today's Daily Jot can be found by going to: www.dailyjot.com or by using
The Daily Brief
1. TRAGIC AFTERMATH: One American Dead After Algerian Hostage Standoff - Fox News
Fox News has confirmed that one American has died in the hostage standoff at an Algerian gas complex. Officials told the Associated Press the deceased American is Texas resident, Frederick Buttaccio. It is unclear how he died.
The officials say Buttaccio's remains have been recovered and his family has been notified. Read more.
- Lift up the family of Mr. Buttaccio as they mourn the loss of their loved one. LIft up the American officials as they weigh the options in front of them in this act of terrorism. May they be granted "wisdom from above" as they do so. In His Name, amen.
- ". . .weep with those who weep . . ." (Romans 12:15)
2. BREAKING NEWS: TSA to Remove X-Ray Scanners - Fox News
The Transportation Security Administration confirms that the controversial airport body scanners that produce a naked image of travelers will be gone by June.
- We thank our Lord for moving on the hearts of the TSA authorities to remove these scanners, which are certainly an invasion of privacy. Thank You, Lord.
- "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Ps. 150:6)
3. Obama Has Opportunities, Challenges in Second Term - VOA
700,000 visitors expected to come to Washington to witness President Barak Obama's second inauguration. President Barack Obama has opportunities and major challenges going into his second term both at home and abroad. Creating jobs and bolstering the economy will still be the president's top domestic goals in his second term.
- Father, we come to You asking for Your protection over all those 700,000 visitors and all those who are already in Washington for the inauguration. We ask that if there are any subversive plans to harm anyone, that it be revealed now and appropriate action taken to keep all safe. We do pray that Your agenda be followed and that You would orchestrate all that takes place to be to Your glory. May nothing take place that would harm our nation in any way, we pray. Amen.
- " I will build you using fairness, you will be safe from those who would hurt you, so you will have nothing to fear. Nothing will come to make you afraid. So, no weapon that is used against you will defeat you. You will show that those who speak against you are wrong. These are the good things My servants receive. Their victory comes from Me,' says the Lord." (Isaiah 54:14,17)
4. New nonprofit to promote Obama agenda - AP
In an unprecedented move, President Barack Obama's vaunted political organization is being turned into a nonprofit group - funded in part by corporate money - to mobilize support behind the president's second-term agenda. Democratic officials familiar with the plan said Thursday the tax-exempt organization will be called Organizing for Action and seek to support his agenda.
- Lord, surely this has not been done before, and we question how a group that is clearly promoting one individual and politically biased, could be a "non-profit" organization. We know that churches are tax-exempt, and cannot, therefore, promote any candidate or political agenda. So, we pray that everything done in secret, will be exposed, and brought to the light, and dealt with appropriately by the people of this nation. We thank You that Your Word is powerful, and reveals the "thoughts and intents" of the heart. Deliver us, we pray, from those who wish us harm. In Your Name, Amen.
- "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:11-13)
5. Clinton to Testify Before Congress on Benghazi - VOA
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will finally testify before Congress next week about September's deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23. She was to have appeared last month, but illness forced the delay.
- Father, we thank You for restoring the health of Secretary of State Clinton, and we ask that the testimony she gives will be a true representation of what really happened in Benghazi, Libya in September, and why it happened. We ask that You, the One Who exposes the darkness, will make the facts clear, so that such an incident can be avoided in the future. We pray that more efficient safe-guards will be adopted that will protect all our embassies world-wide. We thank You for that wisdom, that You alone can give. Amen.
- "But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you." (James 1:5)
6. Obama Calls for Debt Ceiling Increase - VOA
In the final news conference of his first term, a week ahead of the formal inauguration of his second term in office, President Barack Obama underscored the dangers of another fight with Republicans in Congress over raising the U.S. debt ceiling. The president also spoke about gun violence. In his 21st formal full-scale news conference, Obama underscored his refusal to negotiate with Congress over the debt ceiling. The national debt stands at $16.4 trillion.
- Abba, how long can we keep raising the debt ceiling and not go totally bankrupt? Those who have credit cards, and cannot pay their bills, are not going to be given more credit from those companies. That would be bad business. We don't understand why we cannot live, as a nation, on a budget. We, as individuals and families must do so, and the government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people" according to our Constitution. We pray for wisdom for our Congress and President to become financially wise and stop this debt from spiraling out of control. We ask for Your mercy, O Lord, Amen.
- " I also said, "What you are doing is not good! You should be living in fear of our God, so that our pagan enemies won't have grounds for deriding us. Moreover, my brothers and my servants, I too have loaned them money and grain. Please, let's stop making it so burdensome to go into debt." (Nehemiah 5:9,10)
7. Eric Cantor Makes Debt Ceiling Offer- Huffington Post
House Republicans will vote next week on a three-month extension of the debt limit, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Friday. Cantor released the following statement at the conclusion of the annual House Republican retreat, where much of the discussion was focused on approaching fiscal deadlines:The first step to fixing this problem is to pass a budget that reduces spending. The House has done so, and will again. The Democratic Senate has not passed a budget in almost four years, which is unfair to hardworking taxpayers who expect more from their representatives. That ends this year.We must pay our bills and responsibly budget for our future. Next week, we will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget. Furthermore, if the Senate or House fails to pass a budget in that time, Members of Congress will not be paid by the American people for failing to do their job. No budget, no pay.
- Lord, we thank You for at least one legislator who recognizes that it is time to rein in the debt, and spend more responsibly. We are appalled that the Senate has not passed a budget in four years. We ask, Lord, that these legislators realize their accountability to their constituents, and that we do not wish to put such a heavy financial burden on our children, and grandchildren. Hear our prayer, O Lord, and bring fiscal sanity to these who have been so irresponsible. Have mercy, we pray.
- "This is also why you pay taxes; for the authorities are God's public officials, constantly attending to these duties. Pay everyone what he is owe: if you owe the tax-collector, pay your taxes; if you owe the revenue-collector, pay revenue; if you owe someone respect, pay him respect; if you owe someone honor, pay him honor. Don't owe anyone anything--except to love one another, for whoever loves his fellow human being has fulfilled Torah (God's Word). (Romans 13:6-8)
8. Credit Rating Agency Warns Washington - VOA
A major credit rating agency is warning Washington that delays in resolving a dispute over government borrowing will prompt a "review" of the nation's credit rating. The Fitch rating agency said it expects Congress will eventually raise the "debt ceiling," making the risk of a default on U.S. debts "extremely low."
- Abba, our nation's credit rating took a "hit" last time the debt ceiling was raised, and, it appears, it may do so again. We ask You, our Provider, to provide for those who put their trust in You as their source, according to Your Word. We do ask, for the others, You would reveal to them the law of "sowing and reaping", which works whether the seed is good seed, or bad seed. We ask for understanding to come to these legislators that struggle with these financial decisions. May they humble themselves before You, and seek Your face, and Your wisdom, we pray. Amen.
- "God is the One who gives seed to the farmer and bread for food. He will give you all the seed you need and make it grow so there will be a great harvest from your goodness. You will be enriched in every way, so that you can be generous in everything. And your generosity will cause people to thank God." (2 Corin. 9:9-11)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, by which You upheld Your inheritance when it was weary." (Psalm 68:9)
1. Netanyahu aides: Obama meddling in Israeli elections - Israel Hayom
The White House is not denying a report that President Barack Obama repeatedly said that "Israel doesn't know what its own best interests are," POLITICO reported Tuesday.
2. Obama-Netanyahu relationship is 'most dysfunctional' ever - Times of Israel
The relationship between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "the most dysfunctional" ever between an American president and an Israeli prime minister, a veteran former American diplomat said Thursday.
3. Hamas says no unity with Fatah without armed wing - Times of Israel
Hamas will not agree to dismantle the Al-Qassam Brigades as part of a reconciliation deal with rival movement Fatah, a Hamas official said Wednesday.
4. Obama, Netanyahu seem headed for US-Israel clash - AP
Israel's premier on Wednesday dismissed President Barack Obama's reported displeasure with his hard-line policies toward the Palestinians, a sign that the two could be headed for a showdown.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you." (Psalm 5:11)
1. Police break up plot to assassinate Turkish pastor - Compass Direct News
Police in Turkey say they thwarted an assassination plot against a Christian pastor Tuesday when they arrested 14 suspects, two of whom had been part of his congregation for more than a year. Emre Karaali, pastor of Izmit Protestant Church and the target of the alleged plot, said two of the arrested suspects were regular members, feigning interest in Christianity. One of them, he said, participated in a baptism in July. Read more.
2. Christian Persecution in Nigerial Linked to Terrorist Cells in Mali - ICC; Osun Defender
. . . Boko Haram terrorists, like the Malian Islamist rebels, have for years held the Northern part of Nigeria by the jugular, killing and maiming people, especially Christians in their quest to Islamise Nigeria. . . Read more.
3. Tony Perkins: Obama Is No Champion of Religious Freedom - Charisma News
The president of the United States declared Wednesday "Religious Freedom Day." It commemorates one of the great dates in American history, Jan. 16, 1786, when the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was enacted. That law was famous for declaring the freedom of religious choice and free exercise to be "natural rights of mankind." Its adoption was a milestone in human history.
It is ironic for President Obama to make pronouncements extolling religious freedom when his administration has the worst record protecting religious liberty in American history. That is true both at home and abroad. Here are some examples. . . Read more.
4. US Christian faces death in Iran trial: family - AFP
WASHINGTON - A Tehran court will next week put on trial an Iranian American Christian on charges that could carry the death penalty, his wife said Thursday, in a case that has raised concern among US officials.
Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted to Christianity, was arrested in September on a return visit to Iran and in a recent letter said he suffered beatings in prison, his wife and his US-based lawyer said. Read more.
> > > Please continue to lift this case up before the Lord, until it has been decided. Tonight, Saeed Abedini must be trusting God for his life. Let's agree with him in prayer, that this judge will grant him mercy. In Jesus' name, amen.
- [ Applied to this judge in Iran ] "The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases." (Proverbs 21:1 NLT)
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
Israelis Go to the Polls next Tuesday
Israelis Go to the Polls next Tuesday
Next Tuesday, Israeli citizens will go to the polls to elect a new Knesset and to vote for the man who will serve as their Prime Minister.
For an excellent summary of the details of the voting process in Israel, please go here to read a bulletin published by the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
U.S. senator: Angels visited me in hospital
Senator Sen. Mark Kirk 'saw angels' following stroke
A U.S. senator says his faith in God has been strengthened after he was visited by "three angels" while recovering from a stroke in the hospital.
For Mark Kirk, there was no white light, no tunnel.
What Illinois' junior U.S. senator experienced was three angels standing at the foot of his bed.
"You want to come with us?" Kirk was asked.
"No," he told them. "I'll hold off."
The Highland Park Republican, who returned to the Senate when Congress convened earlier this month, recounted the story in his first in-depth interview since he suffered a massive stroke nearly a year ago.
Awakening from what he says might have been a dream, a side effect of medication or a near-death experience, Kirk found himself lying in a hospital bed in Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, hooked up to monitors and tubes.
He had no way of immediately knowing what had transpired in the days after he suffered an ischemic stroke on Jan. 21, 2012; that doctors had put him in a coma and performed several surgeries, temporarily removing a 4-by-8 inch portion of skull to allow his brain to swell and heal.
What Kirk did know was how close he had been to death.
"A thing goes off in your head that this is the end," he remembered.
Kirk's life and outlook would be dramatically changed, the stroke serving as a defining moment that he said deepened his faith and altered his sense of purpose.
. . . A Bible passage from the book of Matthew in which Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount serves as a daily source of reflection, reminding Kirk to place his trust in a higher power. . .
(Source: The Daily Herald; suburban Chicago newspaper)
Read more about the amazing testimony of this U.S. Senator by going here.
Offer a chorus of thanksgiving for Senator Kirk's full recovery, now that he is back on "active duty" on the Hill.
Pray for the Harvest!
Pray for the Harvest!
"Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35)
Every day, in every nation on earth, tens of thousands of men and women are making decisions for Christ. Now, you can monitor this amazing fact online by literally "watching" as these souls are born again into the Kingdom.
Of course, the identities of those who are coming to the Lord are never revealed, but our God knows who they are!
Join us as we monitor these "names" daily, praying over each one to be mentored and to grow in his or her faith . . . even in these perilous times. You may visit either or both of the sites below, to pray for fields that are ripe for harvest.
> > > OPTION ONE: AboutJesus.net
> > > OPTION TWO: The Great Commission Map!
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
"Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted"
by Fernando Ortega
Stricken, smitten, and afflicted,
See Him dying on the tree!
'Tis the Christ by man rejected;
Yes, my soul, 'tis He, 'tis He!
'Tis the long-expected prophet,
David's Son, yet David's Lord;
By His Son, God now has spoken
Tis the true and faithful Word.