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The Daily Brief Wednesday, March 6, 2013
"Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world." (I John 4:4)
The Daily Brief
1. Senate Committee Approves Brennan for CIA Director - Fox News
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Tuesday to approve President Obama's pick to lead the CIA after winning a behind-the-scenes battle with the White House over access to a series of top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects, including American citizens. The intelligence committee's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement Tuesday that the committee voted 12-3 to send Brennan's nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. The panel's deliberations were held behind closed doors. Feinstein did not identify the senators who voted against Brennan.
- Father God, how mighty is Your Name over all secret, behind-the-scenes, behind closed doors schemes which are an aversion to sound, legal and honest policy for our government's actions. BUT GOD. The eyes of the Lord sees all and nothing is hidden from You. We, therefore, call out for Your mighty power to step into this picture and take a commanding position over Brennan's appointment, all his actions and counter-actions and hold him completely to the purposes of God. Father, we ask that You take predominant and effective action over the lethal drone strikes against American citizens. These things are being observed in heaven and we trust that nothing be done by man that is not ordered by the Lord God. In Jesus' Name.
- "In that day the Lord with His sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." (Isaiah 27:1)
2. Senators announce deal on gun trafficking - Fox News
Gun trafficking and the straw purchasing of firearms would become federal crimes under bipartisan legislation announced by five senators Monday. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the bill would establish tough penalties for those who buy a firearm or ammunition with the intent of transferring it to someone else. The measure would also make it a crime to smuggle firearms out of the United States. The bill was crafted by Leahy, fellow Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Republicans Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine. The legislation will be taken up by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday as part of a package of four bills aimed at reducing gun violence. The others involve regulating assault weapons, enhancing school safety and requiring background checks for all firearm sales.
- Father, deny the passage of these bills that would take away gun usage for personal, environmental or job-oriented protection, and protect the military from being denied sufficient weapons and ammunition needed to fight in wars against the enemy. There are enemy forces in America where guns are needed to save lives. Protect this right, O God. Separate the insane acts against our schools by radicals from the legal right to bear arms for common-need purposes. Sever these two on these bills so there will be an honest and logical vote for necessary rights to own guns for the Americans' protection and legal use. In the Name of Jesus we pray.
- "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28:17-18)
3. Biden, Netanyahu set tone on Iran for Obama visit to Israel - China Daily
Vice-President Joe Biden insisted on Monday that President Barack Obama was not bluffing about using force to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions if all else fails, even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a "credible military threat" against Tehran. Seeking to reassure Israel and its US supporters just weeks before Obama visits the Jewish state, Biden cautioned that all options, including sanctions and diplomacy, must be exhausted to ensure that the international community will be supportive if military action is deemed necessary.
But Netanyahu, speaking moments later via satellite from Jerusalem, used his address to America's largest pro-Israel lobby to underscore Israeli impatience with US strategy on Iran, a message that could foreshadow his talks with Obama. "Words alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions alone will not stop Iran. Sanctions must be coupled with a clear and credible military threat if diplomacy and sanctions fail," Netanyahu said to loud cheers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington.
- Father, let nothing outside of Israel dictate to Prime Minister Netanyahu nor the Israeli government officials what strategy they should take against the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions, especially those who do not understand the Israeli mindset from centuries-old threats of their enemies to destroy them. We look to the Lord God of Israel to guide Netanyahu's decisions with Godly wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Father, be one with Prime Minister Netanyahu to depict clearly and exactly to him what will lay the foundation upon which to thrust forward with a God-given plan to strike against Iran's nuclear activities against the State of Israel. In the mighty Name of Jesus we pray.
- "And the Redeemer Yeshua shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord. As for Me, this is My covenant with them says the Lord; My Spirit that is upon them, and My words which I have put in their mouth, shall not depart out of their mouth, nor out of the mouth of their children, nor out of the mouth of their children's children, says the Lord, from henceforth and forever." (Isaiah 59:20-21)
4. Hamas steps up threats on Obama's Israel trip - WorldNetDaily
Despite there being no information President Obama plans to ascend the Temple Mount on his upcoming trip to Israel, Hamas last night stepped up its threats regarding Palestinian rumors the U.S. president may visit the sacred site.
- Lord God, we thank You that You direct the steps of kings and princes, even in ways we may not understand. We ask You to send Your angelic host, if it be Your will, to protect Barack Obama on his first trip to Israel, and to restrain the forces of his enemies. We ask this in Jesus' precious Name, amen.
- "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1)
5. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dead after battle with cancer - Fox News
Some in anguish, some in fear, Venezuelans raced for home on Tuesday after the government announced the death of President Hugo Chavez, the firebrand socialist who led the nation for 14 years. Chavez leaves behind a socialist political movement firmly in control of the nation, but with some doubt about how a new leadership will be formed. The constitution also says that elections should be called in 30 days. Chavez had specified that his supporters should support Vice President Nicolas Maduro as his successor.
- Hugo Chavez was a brutal tyrant who ruled his nation with an iron fist. He has now passed on into eternity, to meet the One who judges us all. Now, we turn our hearts in prayer to all left behind: family, friends and followers. May they find Him in their grief, and turn to Him for salvation.
We pray, too, for the nation of Venezuela, Lord. May this land move into this time of governmental transition with peace, with order, with stability, and with Your wisdom. We ask all of this in Your mighty Name, amen.
- "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
6. North Korea vows to cancel Korean War cease-fire - Fox News
North Korea vowed Tuesday to cancel the 1953 cease-fire that ended the Korean War, citing a U.S.-led push for punishing U.N. sanctions over its recent nuclear test and ongoing U.S.-South Korean joint military drills. Without elaborating, the Korean People's Army Supreme Command warned of "surgical strikes" meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula and of an indigenous, "precision nuclear striking tool." The statement came amid reports that Washington and North Korean ally Beijing have approved a draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for sanctions in response to North Korea's Feb. 12 nuclear test. The draft is expected to be circulated at the U.N. this week.
- Father God, we ask that You promote the sanctions against North Korea, and herd them into a corner so they are stopped from their evil plans. Lord, remove the evil powers that are the kingpins leading North Korea to make a nuclear strike. Get their attention, Lord God, by an eruption within their borders that will disengage all their nuclear abilities to destroy. In Jesus' Name we pray.
- "And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people." (Daniel 11:22-23)
7. China boosts military budget to uphold 'sovereignty, security, territorial integrity' - South China Morning Post
China will increase military spending by 10.7 per cent this year to 720.2 billion yuan (US$115.7 billion), the government announced on Tuesday, building on a nearly unbroken succession of double-digit rises in the defence budget across two decades. "We should accelerate the modernisation of national defence and the armed forces so as to strengthen China's defence and military capabilities," Premier Wen Jiabao said in remarks prepared for delivery ahead of the start of China's annual meeting of parliament. "We should resolutely uphold China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and ensure its peaceful development," he added.
- Lord God, China is raising again their defense budget to strengthen their military capabilities. They are a nation whose population is more than 1,330,584,783. This is a nation that imposes serious difficulties for their enemies. So we come before the throne of God and lay China before You and ask that the 1.3 billion people come under the hand of Almighty God to save their souls by the all-sufficient Blood of Jesus, as their lives are changed from a world of darkness to the kingdom of light through Christ. Appear to them by visions and dreams and miracles that prove without a doubt the glory of the living God and Jesus Christ. In His Name we pray.
- "That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10)
8. Locust alert in Middle East as plague descends on Egypt and creates panic in Israel - Daily Mail UK
As swarms of locust devour Egyptian crops, the Middle East is bracing for the destructive bugs to migrate their way ahead of the Passover holiday. A swarm of an estimated 30million insects has been devastating crops in Egypt, fuelling apocalyptic fears because of the infestation's proximity to the Bible story of Passover in which a swarm of locusts, the eighth of ten plagues, is imposed on Egyptians by God for enslaving and abusing ancient Hebrews. Israel's Agriculture Ministry set up an emergency hotline today and urged residents to be vigilant in reporting sightings of the insects to prevent an outbreak.
- The signs in the heavens, that we are now living in the end times, are becoming more obvious day by day. If you have not made Jesus Lord of your own life, today is the day to receive Him as your Savior, by inviting Him into your heart. If you do know Him, then go out into the highways and the byways, and preach the gospel while there is yet time. Ask Him to show you who needs to hear of His Good News today!
- "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full." (Luke 14:23)
9. BREAKING! HUGE victory in the United States Senate: Radical Obama Judicial Nominee, Caitlin Halligan DEFEATED! - The Committee for Justice
The Committee for Justice congratulates GOP Senators for remaining united today to defeat controversial D.C. Circuit nominee Caitlin Halligan on the Senate floor, where cloture failed by a vote of 51 YEAs to 41 NAYs. Special thanks to South Carolina's Lindsey Graham, whose vote was considered in doubt, for contributing to the 41 nays.
Halligan's hostility to gun rights was the single biggest factor in her defeat. As Gun Owners of America said in a letter of opposition this week, "Halligan's public hatred for firearms was only matched by her [anti-gun] zealotry inside the courtroom." For details on Halligan's disturbing record.
- Offer a huge chorus of PRAISE tonight at the news of the defeat of Ms. Halligan's nomination to the D.C. CIrcuit. Praise God!
- "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, And let those who hate Him flee before Him." (Psalm 68:1)
10. "The Bible" tops American Idol in Nielsen Ratings - Washington Times
The History network's first installment of the miniseries "The Bible" aired twice Sunday, for a total audience of 14.8 million people, topping both of last week's episodes of American Idol. The Bible, produced by the husband-and-wife team of "Survivor" creator Mark Burnett and actress Roma Downey ("Touched By an Angel"), will air in four more installments concluding March 31, Easter Sunday.
Mostly due to curiosity about the series, History's website had its most visited day ever on Sunday, said Nancy Dubuc, president of entertainment and media for the A&E networks. "Clearly, the passion for this project has resonated with our viewers and across the nation," Ms. Dubuc said. "We are thrilled, and the story is only just beginning."
- Oh, GLORY! Saints of God, can you sense the WIND of the spirit of our nation beginning to turn away from the things of this world, and back to our Creator? Offer another chorus of praise for this breakthrough, too, and ask our Lord to draw many more miilions to view the next episode of this amazing series. Praise God!
- "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
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:
"How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!" (Isaiah 52:7)
1. US aims to aid Israel defense systems despite cuts - Jerusalem Post
New US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with his Israeli counterpart on Tuesday, expressing strong support for Israeli missile and rocket defense systems despite fiscal uncertainty caused by across-the-board spending cuts.
2. Netanyahu: "Credible" military threat needed to stop Iran's nuclear program - CBS News
Iran has not yet crossed "the red line" in its push toward nuclear capabilities, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today, but it is "putting itself in a position" to do so "very quickly."
3. Report: Obama set to strong-arm Netanyahu on Palestinian state - Israel Today
According to an unconfirmed report citing Israeli sources, US President Barack Obama's first order of business when he visits Israel later this month will be to extract a firm commitment to uproot the Jews living in Judea and Samaria in preparation for the birth of a Palestinian state.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living." (Psalm 27:12,13)
1. Eritrea Arrests and Jails 125 Christians - Worthy News
There was uncertainty Tuesday, March 5, about the situation of 125 Eritrean Christians who were "beaten and detained" in western Eritrea as part of a new government campaign against Christians worshiping outside the state-backed churches, rights investigators said.
At least 85 of them were arrested over the last week, said Open Doors, a major Christian advocacy and aid group. Among them are 45 men and women who were arrested February 27 for worshiping "outside the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Churches," the group said.
2. Pakistan: Falsely Accused Christian Woman Released from Prison after Police Torture - BosNewsLife
A Christian woman who was "tortured" by police and "falsely accused" of stealing ornaments from a wealthy Pakistani Muslim household has been reunited with her family, attorneys confirmed to BosNewsLife Sunday, March 3.
The Christian, who had been working for the Muslims over the last eight years, strongly denied wrongdoing. In published remarks, she said police had "abused and tortured" her so she would confess to having committed the alleged offense.
However, "I did not steal even a single penny from the house," she added. She did not provide more details about the alleged torture, and police did not immediately comment.
3. Imprisoned Pastor's Health Deteriorating in Iran - The Baptist Times
A British charity has expressed its concern over the deteriorating health of a pastor imprisoned in Iran.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that Pastor Benham Irani, currently held in Ghezal Hesar prison in Iran, is now unable to walk and that medical assistance continues to be withheld.
Pastor Irani has been losing weight for several months and has been unable to walk for the last week due to acute back pain. The pastor has trouble with his vision and last year suffered severe bleeding due to stomach ulcers and complications with his colon, which caused him to lose consciousness at one point. He was given tablets to stop the bleeding, but was denied further medical attention.
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
Republicans continue to credulously offer support for amnesty in the hopes that Obama will enforce the laws in the future, even as he is shredding our immigration laws and releasing criminal aliens from prison. This week, Republicans in the House will commence a series of seminars on strategy and policy as it relates to immigration. This will provide conservative with both an opportunity and potential peril. It is a positive sign that Republicans are now discussing the issue amongst themselves, instead of with Democrats. However, they need to move away from giving into the premise of amnesty, and instead towards an offensive strategy attacking Obama for his malfeasance regarding law enforcement.
BREAKING - House Passes CR
US House OKs bill to avoid government shutdown
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved legislation Wednesday to prevent a U.S. government shutdown on March 27 and blunt the impact of newly imposed spending cuts on the Defense Department. The 267-151 vote sent the measure to the Senate, where Democrats hope to give additional Cabinet agencies similar flexibility in implementing their shares of the $85 billion in economic recovery-threatening spending cuts required to take effect by the end of the budget year on Sept. 30. Republicans said the measure was essential to keep the government operating smoothly after current funding expires on March 27. (Fox News)
The following is an opinion piece written by one of our editors, Pastor Faye Higbee in Post Falls, Idaho. Thank you, Faye!
Conservatives? What Conservatives?
At this writing, a vote was taken in the House of Representatives on a "continuing resolution." If conservatives had voted against it, Obamacare would have been essentially defunded. They didn't. They passed it. Only 16 representatives voted against the resolution,and Idaho's rep was not among them. (Which gives me a headache). Apparently we have forgotten that every vote has repercussions like the ripples on water. Obamacare has repercussions across the board, all because no one bothered to read the entire bill before passage. And now we are stuck with it. My pocket book will suffer, as will yours, you just don't realize it yet. Obamacare contains more than "healthcare" -- it has several sections that affect the lives of every American on every level of their lives.
So let me explain what a "conservative" should be- not what the media says. A Conservative should be someone who values America and our personal liberty above reliance on the government or interference by the government. They should be strong advocates of the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights. They should be individually responsible for their actions, not desire free handouts from either the government or private concerns. Responsibility should be at the core of their belief structure.
They should be strongly in favor of the right to keep and bear arms, understanding that any legislation that tries to regulate "illegal firearms" will result in removal of firearms from those who obey the law, not criminals. The original intent of this right was to prevent tyranny of the government. Criminals do not obey laws, but for some reason our leadership seems to think they'll just cave in and do it. Not.
A Conservative should be fiscally responsible, and not a free spender of the taxpayer's money.
A Conservative should be aware of the Christian roots of America, and understand that freedom to exercise religious beliefs is part of our foundation. The demand that we remove all religious things (especially Christian ones) from our life is a twisted and unconscionable attack on freedom. A Conservative should be wise enough to see the truth about the issues, and compassionate enough to see the needs of the people. Black, White, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, whoever, they should see the hearts, not cave in to the principle of entitlement. They should see protection of America as the first rule of government. They should be able to ferret out lies by our enemies, and lies by our own leadership. Rather than be powerless against such lies, they should have the guts to stand up and be the David's against the Goliaths. So where are the conservatives?
Yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-to-3 to approve the nomination of John Brennan to be director of the CIA. But the vote came with a price. The Obama Administration was forced to turn over documents related to the Benghazi attacks and the infamous talking points used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.
According to CBS News, references to Al Qaeda were stripped out of Ambassador Rice's talking points by a press officer either at the White House, the FBI or the Defense Intelligence Agency. Ambassador Rice refused to blame the attacks on jihadists, and insisted that they were the result of spontaneous demonstrations over an anti-Islam film.
But the idea that a press shop would make that kind of a major edit to a CIA memo is laughable. If it did so, it was very likely done only with permission from someone higher up the chain of command.
Moreover, the documents indicate that the administration had specific warnings of "an imminent attack" within days, and virtually all messages from Libyan officials to Washington blamed Al Qaeda or its affiliated cells for the attacks.
My friends, the handling of the Benghazi attacks is scandalous. But we should not lose sight of the bigger issue, which is that Obama's entire Middle East policy is an utter disaster -- for the people in the Middle East and for the United States and our allies.
- Egypt is on the verge of economic collapse. The pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square were betrayed. They traded the authoritarian Mubarak regime for the theocratic dictatorship of the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
- Libya is an ungovernable state. It is now a distribution center for weapons and jihadists.
- Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program.
- Syria is in a chaotic civil war. Tens of thousands have been killed and one million people have fled the country. The future of the country looks bleak as the main forces battling for control are Shiite extremists and Sunni extremists.
- The smaller Gulf states are all facing radical Islamic uprisings of varying degrees.
- And insiders tell me that it is only a matter of time before the pro-Western king of Jordan is overthrown and another anti-Israel regime is installed.
So the president, whose middle name is Hussein, who assured us that he understood the Middle East far better than the "cowboy" Bush, who gave his first television interview as president to an Arabic language TV network, and who made his first major foreign policy speech in Cairo, has presided over a foreign policy disaster the extent of which has still yet to be fully revealed.
News from the IDF
IDF Holds Advanced Training on Riots
The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] held a special advanced training session focusing on riots today (Wednesday, February 27), in light of recent violent riots in Judea and Samaria. Company commanders and battalion commanders of the Central Command-both regular and reserve officers-participated in the training, as did the senior leadership of the Central Command. The training, which was held at the Central Command's Lachish Training Base, included a simulated riot to which the commanders responded.
"We are witnessing a continuing process of undermining the stability of the security situation," stated Brig. Gen. Hagai Mordechai, Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division.
"Consequently, we prepared a series of advanced training sessions, including the training session that we're holding today." The Division Commander noted the importance of restraint within the IDF. "Our emphasis is to operate precisely, selectively, professionally, with significant restraint, with an understanding that that's the right thing both ethically-in line, of course, with the values of the IDF-and in terms of the stability of the security situation," he stated.
Binyamin Regional Brigade Commander Col. Yossi Pinto emphasized the importance of today's training session, in light of "new challenges that demand understanding, operational expertise, and the formation of a shared language [among various bodies] in responding to incidents."
Source (By Yael Livnat, Israel Defense Forces, February 27, 2013) [Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]
- Pray for guidance and protection of those individuals that are charged with maintaining peace. Pray that the Lord God will bring peace to Israel, Judea, Samaria and all of the Middle East
- "As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect." (Psalm 18:30-32)