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The Daily Brief Friday, February 8, 2013
"The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:5)
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. Blizzard alert: Northeast snowstorm could be among the worst of all time - (AP)
Snow was falling around the Northeast on Friday, ushering in what's predicted to be a massive, possibly historic blizzard, and sending residents scurrying to stock up on food and gas up their cars ahead of the storm poised to dump up to 3 feet of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond.
Even before the first snowflake had fallen, Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other towns and cities in New England and upstate New York towns canceled school Friday, and airlines scratched more than 3,700 flights through Saturday, with the disruptions from the blizzard certain to ripple across the U.S.
- Lord, we bring this situation to You, asking that this storm would be moderated. We know that many New Yorkers are still attempting to recover from Superstorm Sandy, and now are facing more weather-related problems. It is amazing to us, Father, to see Your great power through "nature", totally shut down all the financial and technological advances of man. Surely You are mightier than any man! We come to You as Creator, and ask that You would diminish this storm, and protect Your people. We thank You that You do control the wind and the waves, and we ask for Your mercy. Amen.
- "Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still". Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm.Jesus said to his followers, 'Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?' The followers were very afraid and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'"
2. Suspected Cop Killer Still at Large - AOL
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. - Law enforcement officers working in falling snow searched a Southern California mountain Friday for the former Los Angeles police officer accused of carrying out a killing spree because he felt he was unfairly fired from his job."We're going to continue searching until either we discover that he left the mountain or we find him, one of the two," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said at a midmorning news conference.
More than 100 officers from various agencies were searching for Christopher Dorner in the Big Bear Lake region of the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. Deputies were driven up snowbound roads on Snowcat tractors and armored personnel carriers equipped with snow chains, he said, but helicopters were grounded because of the storm.
- Father, we ask that You guide these officers from various agencies, to find this man, who is believed to have killed 3 people, and is threatening to kill many more. We ask, Lord, that there would be no further murders committed by this suspect. We pray for his soul, that You would deal with Him in presenting Yourself as Savior, and that he would be arrested by Your love for him, and he would give his life to You, and surrender to the authorities. We pray for Your protection over these officers, as they search in this snowstorm. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him." (Daniel 2:21,22)
3. Fed Has Bought More U.S. Gov't Debt This Year Than Treasury Has Issued - CNS News
So far this calendar year, the Federal Reserve has bought up more U.S. government debt than the U.S. Treasury has issued. On Dec. 31, the total debt of the U.S. government was $16.4327 trillion and then-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner announced that the government had hit what was then the legal debt limit.
- Lord, we humble ourselves before You and beg for mercy regarding this debt of our government, which seems to know no end. We do not understand the lack of discipline financially that our government seems intent on displaying. We ask for a miracle, that somehow these government officials who make these financial decisions, would come to understand the laws of "cause and effect", and "sowing and reaping". We ask that they would become knowledgeable and prudent in dealing with this ongoing crisis. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Whoever can be trusted with a little, can also be trusted with a lot. If you cannot be trusted with worldly riches, then who will trust you with true riches? And if you cannot be trusted with things that belong to someone else, who will give you things of your own?" (Luke 16:10-12)
4. Voters say country weaker now than before Obama - Fox News
Twice as many voters believe the country is weaker, rather than stronger, since Obama took office. In addition, by a 52-40 percent margin voters think the worst is yet to come on the economy. And more than eight in 10 disagree with the president's notion that the government doesn't have a spending problem.
- Abba, we are amazed that such a large number of voters think the country is weaker since Obama took office, and believe the worst is yet to come on the economy; and that the government does have a spending problem. How could the majority think that, and yet he was re-elected? We do pray that those who do think we are worse off, would do their part in voting in fiscal conservatives to rein in the spending, and set our country back on track. Amen.
- "Appoint judges and officers in every town the Lord your God is giving you; they must judge the people fairly. Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people. Always do what is right, so that you will live and always have the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Deuteronomy 16:18-20)
5. DHS Purchases 21.6 Million More Rounds of Ammunition - Info wars
The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest...the Fed Bid website details how the bullets are required for the DHS Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico.
- Abba, we are quite disturbed by this unsettling report. We do not understand why DHS would have a need for so much ammunition, unless they are expecting civil unrest. This makes us even more reluctant to disarm the American citizenry, when it might become necessary to protect ourselves from our own government. We thank You that You are our Shield and Defender, our Provider and Protector. Help us to be wise and observant, and place our confidence in You alone. Amen.
- "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues." (Matthew 10:16,17)
6. White House to release legal rationale for killing of US citizens with drones - The Guardian
Obama ordered that the 50-page legal rationale finally be given to the Senate intelligence committee as members' anger at the administration's refusal to share the classified document led to an implied threat from some senators to hold up Brennan's nomination. The White House move is likely to defuse some of the tension at Brennan's hearing and possibly limit the scope of senators' questions on the sensitive issue of the president ordering the deaths of Americans...Lt. Col. Bill Cowan: Slippery Slope could allow drone killings of Americans inside U.S. The issue with the drone program is -- and I have no problem with killing Americans overseas, who are a part of a terrorist organization. This issue is, is this the beginning of a slippery slope that we don't see any real boundaries to? How long does it take to go from killing Americans overseas with drones to killing Americans here in this country with drones?
Update: NBC News reported last night that even though the White House did allow the members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to view this 50-page document, that paper was withdrawn at the end of their session, over the objections of Senate staff, who had intended to give this matter a thorough review. In addition to the prayer, below, please intercede that the president would relent, and allow the Senate a full review of this vital paper.
- Father, again we ask for Your protection of our Constitution, and our citizenry, from undue "search and seizure", and from targeting of Americans for "death by drone" within the borders of our nation. We ask that the spirit of lawlessness, which seems to be so pervasive in this administration, would be bound up from operating against law-abiding citizens. Protect us, O Lord, we pray. Amen.
- "Those who go to God Most High for safety will be protected by the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'You are my place of safety and protection.' I will say to the Lord, 'You are my place of safety and protection. You are my God and I trust You.'" (Psalm 91:1,2 New Century Version)
8. Virginia city passes legislation banning drones - The Daily Caller
Charlottesville, Virginia has become the first city in the U.S. to put a two-year ban on drone flights within city limits, reported NBC29 Wednesday. The decision comes two days after a Justice Department memo on the Obama administration's criteria for determining the targeting and drone assassination of foreign enemies - including American citizens - was leaked to the public.
"In a 3-2 vote, members of the Charlottesville City Council adopted a resolution drafted by The Rutherford Institute which urges the Virginia General Assembly to prevent police agencies from utilizing drones outfitted with anti-personnel devices such as tasers and tear gas and prohibit the government from using data recorded via police spy drones in criminal prosecutions," reported NBC29 Wednesday. Read more.
- Offer a chorus of praise for this bold move by the citizens of this small, but historic city. Charlottesville is the home of Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, reminding us of an era when Americans first lived as free men, having thrown off the tyranny of England. Now, this little city has done it again, and we ask that many others would follow suit, confronting modern-day tyranny with courage. Praise the Lord!
- "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed." (John 8:36)
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:
"For My sake, for My sake I will do it; for why should My name be defiled? I will not give My glory to another." (Isaiah 48:11)
1. Palestinian officials urge Obama to push for peace - AP
Palestinian officials said Thursday they hope President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the region signals readiness to re-engage in Mideast peace efforts, but that negotiations can only resume if Washington is ready to get tough with Israel.
2. Likud source: Obama visit paves Yair Lapid's way into Israel's coalition - Ha'aretz
Figures in Likud complained on Wednesday that the expected visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Israel next month, just days after the deadline for putting together the government, will impede Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition-wrangling efforts.
3. President Ahmadinejad says Iran ready to wipe out Israel - Washington Times
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday his nation is ready to storm Israel and "wipe it out" if it dares launch at attack on Tehran.
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. Chinese Preacher Arrested for Hymn Session - China Aid
A Chinese preacher is suing police after a public session of hymn singing saw him imprisoned for 12 days for allegedly "harming social order". (Read more)
2. The Dalai Lama says no to conversions - Asia News
Some of the statements of the Dalai Lama against conversions and the work of the missionaries are causing confusion and opposition among many Christians. In an attempt to condemn bad proselytism, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism said he was against conversions and changing from one religion to another. In this way, his position is likely to be seen as support for the policies of the radical Hindu groups and the anti-conversion laws that exist in some Indian states. Card. Oswald Gracias, who personally knows the Dalai Lama, comments to AsiaNews that the freedom to change religion is a fundamental human right and can not be obscured for any convenience.
On 23 January, the Dalai Lama visited the St Xavier's College in Mumbai, at the invitation of the Dean, Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas. Before students and professors, he gave a speech on "Ethics: educating the heart and mind."
During his speech, he touched on the issue of conversions. "I do not like conversions," he said, because they have a negative impact [on society]. "The two parties, that of the converted and the community abandoned by him, begin to fight." (Read more)
3. Renewed Hope for Asia Bibi as Pakistan Acquits Second Christian of Blasphemy - Christianity Today
After being accused of blasphemy and spending 18 months in prison, a second Pakistani Christian has been acquitted by the nation's Supreme Court and released. . . And that rare decision-which comes on the heels of 14-year-old Rimsha Masih's acquittal in January-could be good news for Asia Bibi. (Read more)
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
EDA Elimination Act
If you're looking for waste in government to cut, Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has a great place to start. The Economic Development Administration (EDA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, was established in 1965 as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. The EDA is a failed Great Society program that serves as a stimulus/pork slush fund for special interest communities under the guise of assistance to economically distressed areas of the country. It's nothing more than a fund for corporate welfare and a way of picking winners and losers in the market. It has been as successful in creating jobs as Obama's stimulus. Even President Obama has called it "corporate welfare." So why is it still receiving hundreds of millions in funding every year?
[This is another example of positive legislation that is worthy of conservative support.]
Sum Kind of Wonderful
Sum Kind of Wonderful
Nobody said cutting spending would be easy," said Senator Mitch McConnell. And Democrats are about to find out why. After having their way with the GOP on the tax and borrowing debates, the Left's bluff may finally be called. With Congress 20 days away from an $85 billion budget shave (the first year's worth of the total $965 billion "sequester"), the President is scrambling to push off the automatic cuts that were his own idea! Like most liberals, President Obama was banking on the fact that Republicans would never allow the deep cuts to the Pentagon budget to materialize. So he set a trap--a March 1 deadline for the first wave of cutbacks to hit.
What he didn't count on is a newly austere GOP. But after swallowing $650 billion in tax hikes and watching the Obama administration pile up $5.9 trillion in debt, conservatives are ready to do just about anything to get America's fiscal house in order--even if it means blowing a massive hole in the Defense budget. If the President won't come to the table and cut spending, then the GOP will let the automatic cuts do it for him.
But now that the tables are turned, Democrats are racing to replace the sequester cuts with a different plan. Of course, the problem is that the Left wants more tax hikes to be a part of it. "We want to make sure that the wealthy and well-connected continue to, you know, to be part of the solution right now," which is just Sen. Debbie Stabenow's way of saying that it's time for successful Americans (who were just hit by the January tax deal) to pony up more.
Unfortunately for Stabenow, Democrats aren't exactly in the best negotiating position. Republican leaders have made it clear that they've compromised enough--and now it's the Democrats' turn. "President Obama first proposed the sequester and insisted it become law," Speaker John Boehner told reporters. "Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. . . "
Now that his plan has backfired, President Obama is trying to rally Congress around a short-term deal that would head-off the automatic cuts--and a conversation about meaningful reform. On Tuesday, he hinted at his party's vulnerability. "If Congress can't . . . get a bigger package done by the time the sequester is scheduled to go into effect, then I believe that they should at least pass a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms that would delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months." Ironically, that "smaller package" is being hatched in the Senate, which must be rusty after four years of not producing a budget.
In the meantime, Michael Tanner at NRO put together a pretty compelling case on the GOP's strategy. His column, "Don't Fear the Sequester," points out that while the military cuts would be devastating, there will hardly be starving children in the streets on March 1, as President Obama seems to imply. In reality, the sequester only trims about 2.6% of projected spending over the next 10 years. "[E]ven if the sequester goes through, the federal government will spend $2.14 trillion more in 2022 than it does today...When you consider that the federal government borrows $85 billion [the same amount cut on March 1] every 28 days, it's hard to call the sequester draconian." Not to mention that entitlement spending, the Democrats' first love, would barely be touched.
As hard as sequestration would be, doing nothing will be even worse. In my conversations with Republican leadership, it's obvious that they understand what's at stake. Drawing a line in the sand will be difficult in the short-term, but this is necessary for the long-term solvency of the nation. They have the upper hand--now it's time to follow through. "Now that we've successfully changed the battlefield," Speaker Boehner told members, "it's time to fight the battle. And we need to fight it together."
(Source: Tony Perkins; Family Research Council)
- Pray for a breakthrough in these negotiations to appear soon. The ball is now in the Republicans' court, as Obama's strategy has failed. Ask that they be granted "wisdom from above" as they struggle to put our fiscal house in order.
- "For wisdom is protection as money is protection, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of its owner." [Eccl 7:12]
Obama Visits Israel in March
Joel Rosenberg: Obama Visits Israel in March
President Obama to visit Israel in March. Re-set in relations coming, or more White House pressure?
For the first time as the American leader, President Barack Obama will visit Israel in March (update: possibly March 20) as part of a wider tour of key nations in the epicenter. While the Iranian nuclear threat and the implosion of Syria will be top priority topics for newly re-elected Prime Minister Netanyahu, the newly re-elected Mr. Obama will likely make jump-starting the moribund peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians his top priority.
The biq question is whether this trip will represent a "re-set" of U.S.-Israeli relations in light of tensions in the past between Obama and Netanyahu, or whether the White House and State Department are planning a high-profile effort to pressure the not-yet-formed Israeli government to divide Jerusalem and make dangerous concessions. Presumably, Netanyahu will finish his coalition talks and announce his new government before Mr. Obama arrives.
Last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry, who replaced Hillary Clinton, called Netanyahu, Israeli President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas among his first official phone calls. His staff indicates Kerry will head to Jerusalem and Ramallah this month to discuss how to move forward with creating a viable Palestinian state. On January 15th, Kerry reportedly met with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in Washington to lay the groundwork for the presidential visit.
Mr. Obama's visit Israel and the Palestinian territories will occur "in the next few weeks," reports the Times of Israel. "Israeli television broke news of the trip on Tuesday night, and said the White House had confirmed it would take place next month or in April, and that the details were agreed by Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a January 28 phone call."
"The start of the president's second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel and to discuss the way forward on a broad range of issues of mutual concern, including Iran and Syria," White House Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. "Additional details about the trip - including the dates of travel - will be released at a later time."
The Jerusalem Post reported that sources indicated "late March as the expected arrival time" and noted that Israel's Channel 10 reported that the visit "will take place as part of a regional tour also expected to take Obama to Ankara, Riyadh, Cairo and Ramallah."
The National Prayer Breakfast
The National Prayer Breakfast -- Keynote Speaker Dr. Ben Carson
"Telling it like it is!"
Note: yesterday morning at the Washington Hilton Hotel, an audience of approximately 2,000 guests, including the President of the United States, was treated to a speech by an African-American physician, Dr. Ben Carson. His address was a breath of fresh air in a city bogged down with political correctness and "every evil thing." We submit portions of that speech below, along with a YouTube video in its entirety.
We pray that President Obama might ponder the words he heard at that breakfast, and respond accordingly. Thank you.
One of the more unique speeches delivered at this morning's National Prayer Breakfast came from Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Taking the stage before President Barack Obama's faith-filled address, Carson spoke for more than 25 minutes, tackling issues ranging from education to personal responsibility. His keynote, while predicated upon the theme of Jesus Christ as his ultimate role model, also took a starkly political tone, advocating against some of the very policies the president has implemented. At the beginning of his speech, Carson shared an intense disdain for political correctness. Without getting too specific on the issue front, he said that Americans should stop being afraid to speak up and defend their beliefs; he also encouraged people to respect the individuals they disagree with. Carson held little back, condemning political correctness as "a horrible thing" that is "dangerous," as it hampers freedom of thought and expression.
"We've reached a point where people are actually afraid to talk about what they want to say, because somebody might be offended," Carson said, noting the example of people refraining from saying "Merry Christmas." "We've got to get over this sensitivity and it keeps people from saying what they really believe." Carson encouraged discussion about societal issues, also pointing out education as an essential conundrum the country needs to confront. He highlighted his own path from poverty to success, sharing very personal details about his parents and early family life and subsequently described the importance of helping students seeking to advance academically through his Carson Scholars Fund.
The speech took an interesting turn when the doctor cautioned that moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility can have dire consequences - even for powerful countries like America. Here, he became even more pointed and impassioned.
"I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful - nobody could even challenge them militarily...they destroyed themselves from within," Carson continued. "Moral decay. Fiscal irresponsibility."
While he said America's issues are dire, he was positive that the nation can fix its ways, as there are bright and innovative people who simply need to come together to address the problems at hand. "And one of our big problems right now...our deficit is a big problem," he said, as Obama watched him intently. "Think about it - and our national debt - $16 and a half trillion dollars." To illustrate just how massive the debt is, Carson told the audience that if they counted one number per second, it would take them 507,000 years to get to the sum total. The doctor said that the massive fiscal blunder is something that the nation must contend with. From there, he moved on to taxation, seemingly taking a stance in direct opposition to Obama's.
"What about our taxation system - so complex there is no one that can possibly comply with every jot and tittle," he noted, going on to call for a simpler (i.e. flat tax) system. "When I pick up my Bible, you know what I see - I see the fairest individual in the universe - God - and he's given us a system. It's called tithe." Carson progressed, seemingly comparing the tithe, at least in principal, to the flat tax system. Rather than continuing to tier taxes owed, he argued that everyone should pay the same proportion and that, through this fairer system, money sent by wealthier Americans for protection abroad should be brought back to America to help build infrastructure and create additional jobs. The doctor also addressed medical care, advocating for health savings accounts and railing against the notion that Americans should be sending money into a large bureaucratic system."
(Source: Before Its News) Read more here -- includes the video of his speech.
For more information on this speech, go here.
Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr. is an American neurosurgeon and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, by President George W. He is the author of the book, "America the Beautiful."
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Homeless Man Saves Newborn Baby Girl
Little Tatum Brown had literally just been given birth while her parents were driving to the hospital to deliver her. She came out OK, except for the fact that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, slowly strangling her. Tatum's parents began to panic, not knowing what to do and decided to call for an ambulance as their daughter slowly was dying, saying, "My baby, my baby's blue ... she's not breathing." Miraculously, a kind homeless man offered his help, freeing Tatum's neck from the cord and tying it afterward, saving the child. The paramedics gave their approval. "He did everything perfectly right," Sandra Lesperance, the paramedic, said. (CBS News)
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!
Jesus, King of Angels
Jesus, King of angels, heaven's light,
Shine Your face upon this house tonight.
Let no evil come into my dreams;
Light of heaven, keep me in Your peace.