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The Daily Brief Thursday, June 27, 2013
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)
Guidelines for today's American Prayer Initiative can be found by going here.
The Daily Brief
1. National Cathedral Rings Bells to Cheer Gay Marriage- CBS
The National Cathedral is pealing its church bells, along with some other Washington churches, to celebrate the Supreme Court's decisions on gay marriage.
Cathedral spokesman Richard Weinberg said the bells rang at noon Wednesday for 45 minutes to an hour. Bells also rang at other Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Unitarian and other Christian churches.
The cathedral scheduled a prayer service for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families Wednesday at 7 p.m. to celebrate the ruling.
In a statement, the cathedral's dean, the Rev. Gary Hall, says the church is ringing its bells "to celebrate the extension of federal marriage equality to all the same-sex couples modeling God's love in lifelong covenants."
Hall says the ruling should serve as a call for Christians to embrace religious marriage equality.
- Marriage itself was founded by the Lord. Therefore it is subject to His "Supreme" oversight, not that of man. As man attempts to take control of God's territory more and more, things are bound to heat up the same. Be wary, be wise, and know that these things will be vehicles for attacking Christians.
- "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name's sake." [Matthew 24:9] "A righteous man who falters is like a murky spring and a polluted fountain." [Proverbs 25:26]
2. Calif. Same-Sex Marriage Gets A Supreme Court Win; SF Celebrates - CBS
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that backers of Proposition 8, California's ban of same-sex marriage, had no right to appeal a federal court ruling that overturned it. As a result, same-sex marriage can resume in California and Gov. Jerry Brown quickly issued a directive to state and county clerks indicating so.
Exactly how soon same-sex marriage licenses would again be issued remained unclear though. Supreme Court rulings normally take effect after 25 days and Brown's order, a copy of which was sent to CBS San Francisco, seemed to follow what would be a late July timetable.
- Father, give us the grace to love the sinner and hate the sin. If our nation will not remove this "high place," then we pray for Your strength and courage to stand firm in love against the anti-christ spirit that currently pervades our country.
- "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come" [1 John 2:18]
3. IRS Could Revoke Non-Profit Status for Religious Institutions over Same-Sex Marriage - Breitbart
Based on Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling, in which the Court majority determined that the Defense of Marriage Act's federal definition of marriage had to incorporate state-based same-sex marriages, Internal Revenue Service regulations could be modified to remove non-profit status for churches across the country.
- Father, removal of non-profit status among churches would prove to be a disaster for financial giving to them. But perhaps You are trying to show us how to love one another financially even without government tax assistance. We pray for mercy and grace in the Body of Christ.
- "that in great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality." [2 Corinthians 8:2]
4. Barack Obama to cut emissions in vow to save planet - UK Telegraph
Barack Obama today unveiled the most ambitious plan to counter climate change ever put forward by a US president, saying he would not condemn future generations "to a planet that is beyond fixing."
- Lord, please give wisdom to the leaders of our nation as they attempt to alter the climate of the world. The earth belongs to You, and You alone know the truth. We ask for Your answers above those of man.
- "The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell within." [Psalm 24:1]
5. Illegal immigrants who commit crimes face lesser punishment than U.S. citizens - Washington Examiner
According to Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate's Gang of Eight, criminals will not be legalized under the proposed bipartisan immigration bill.
- Father, we pray for a solid, America-friendly resolution to the immigration situation. We ask that You secure our borders and bring peace within them.
- "He makes peace in your borders" [Psalm 147:14a]
6. Perry renews Texas abortion battle with special session - CNN
A day after a filibuster and a raucous crowd in the state Capitol foiled passage of a bill that would have imposed strict new regulations on abortion in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry vowed Wednesday to try again.
- Lord, thank You for this determination on the part of Texas Governor Perry. We pray that You will move over the Texas legislature, stopping the pressure from pro-abortion forces, and bringing an affirmation of life.
- "For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life." [Psalm 30:5b]
7. Senior IRS manager invokes Fifth Amendment right before House committee- Fox News
For the second time in as many months, a senior IRS manager on Wednesday invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, fueling perceptions of an agency in crisis.
Greg Roseman, a Deputy IRS Director, spearheaded the awarding of the IRS's largest contract in history to a company owned by a close friend of his, an action that is prohibited under government contracting regulations.
- Lord, we pray against the corruption and political targeting within the IRS. We pray that either the agency be washed in the Blood of Jesus, or removed from American life entirely.
- "A corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit." [Matthew 7:17a]
8. Official confirms, defends White House meeting with controversial Muslim scholar- Fox News
A senior Obama administration official confirmed to Fox News that members of the National Security Council staff met with a controversial Muslim scholar, but stressed that they were focused on his recent efforts to counter the Al Qaeda narrative.
The official was responding to a report on Wednesday from The Investigative Project on Terrorismhttp://global.fncstatic.com/static/v/all/img/external-link.png, which uncovered a statement on the website of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Bayyah claiming he met June 13 with Obama administration officials at the White House.
- Father, we are continually dismayed at the entreaties to terrorists made by this administration. We pray that Your protection over America against our enemies will rise over and above the actions of our government.
- "Some trust in horses and some in chariots, but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God." [Psalm 20:7]
9. Senate passes amnesty; House battle begins - Numbers USA
Conference Committee still poses grave danger
What just happened:
Shortly before 1 p.m., 68 Senators voted for S. 744 in the all-important final cloture vote. It needed 60 votes. This assures its final passage by the Senate (only 50 votes needed) later today. If eventually signed into law, this bill would threaten to knock millions of Americans out of the middle class by flooding their occupations with 33 million foreign citizens who are offered lifetime work permits over the next decade. (Read more)
- Bring the full force of your intercession to bear against the principalities and powers in the House of Representatives that would move upon the minds of our members of Congress to pass this bill. S. 744 is not good for America; stand against this in prayer.
- "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)
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:
" "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercies endure forever." (Psalm 118:1)
1. Yaalon: Combat Units 'Likely to Be Called Up Soon' - Arutz Sheva
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon hinted Wednesday that Israel may call up its combat soldiers for a major operation in the near future.
2. Abbas: We will only negotiate based on 1967 lines - Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Al Jazeera Wednesday that the Palestinians would return to the negotiating table only if Israel accepts the vision of two states based on the 1967 borders. His comments came a day before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in the region in an attempt to revive peace talks.
3. Netanyahu says Israel will withstand any challenge to its security
- Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon attended a Golani Brigade war drill on the Golan Heights on Wednesday, and issued stern warnings to potential attackers on the other side of the border of severe consequences that would stem from violations of Israeli sovereignty.
4. Israeli leaders warn against Syria attacks - AP
Israeli leaders have warned against attacks from Syria while visiting a military drill held near the border with the country in the Golan Heights.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous And His ears are open to their cry." (Psalm 34:15)
1. Christians To Join Protests of Islamist President in Egypt - Fox News
In abstract terms, Sunday's planned protests aimed at forcing out Islamist President Mohammed Morsi would seem to violate a basic principle of democracy: If a fair vote is conducted, even if the majority is slim or the turnout modest, all must respect the results. Otherwise it's political chaos.
Morsi's Islamist supporters have been angrily making that argument for weeks, accusing loyalists of the ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak of being behind the campaign against the president and of aiming to thwart democracy, one of the main aspirations of the 2011 revolution that removed him.
But the organizers of Sunday's protests insist he has lost legitimacy through what they call a series of power grabs, missteps and poor decisions, and that Morsi, his Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies are using victories - at times narrow - scored in elections during a still nascent and transitioning democracy to control it completely for themselves.
2. The Syrian Riddle and Christians in the Middle of Violence - World
Despite widespread religious persecution in countries like war-torn Syria, the Obama administration is still opposed to creating a special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East, according to a State Department official who testified before Congress on Tuesday.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia made the comments at a joint subcommittee hearing in the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing room regarding the plight of religious minorities in Syria.
Last week President Barack Obama announced the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels, purportedly because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has used chemical weapons against his own people-which Obama had publicly characterized as a red line for U.S. intervention.
On Tuesday, Melia said the State Department is working to ensure that U.S. weapons and logistical support only go to the "most high-minded" of Syria's opposition forces. But as WORLD has previously reported, those determinations are anything but easy in the wake of Islamic extremists flooding the country.
3. Fr. Mourad the Latest Christian Leader Killed in Middle of Syrian Conflict - AsiaNews
"Fr Franҫois Mourad was a man of faith, who chose to build from scratch the Monastery of St Simeon Stylites, despite the difficulties of the war, challenging Islamic extremists. Unfortunately, his attempt failed, but his life was fulfilled through the most extreme sacrifice: giving his life for Jesus and for the people who were with him," a Syrian Franciscan friar told AsiaNews, anonymous for security reasons.
"In past years, Fr Franҫois Mourad repeatedly put his life on the line in Syria pushing for the construction of the monastery," the priest said.
"Initially, he bought some land near Aleppo with the help of some local families, but was chased away by Islamic extremists. So he decided to fall back on Al-Ghassaniyah, where he built a small hermitage a few kilometres from the village with the help of some young Syrians."
"His work had just started," the monk explained, "when Islamist troops put the area under siege. He eventually found himself alone as his postulants fled because of the war, witnessing helplessly the destruction and looting of the monastery and nearby villages."
"Fr Franҫois Mourad had the opportunity to go away, to take shelter in a safer area, but decided to stay in order to serve his people, willing to help the local parish priest and the nuns of the Franciscan Monastery of St Anthony in the village of Al-Ghassaniyah, which had an infirmary; the only clinic in the area and a point of reference for many Christian and Muslim families."
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Daily Jot
God's ways are not the Supreme Court's ways
The LORD says in Isaiah 55:8, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways." Most assuredly, this holds true for the wisest among the branches of the Federal government as evidenced by the recent decision of the Supreme Court regarding marriage. The Supreme Court was very specific-benefits cannot be denied legally married couples. States address who is legally married. If the states say that marriage includes same sex couples, then benefits afforded married couples cannot be denied to those of the same sex. Interesting logic, especially since the US Constitution really does not address the definition of marriage. The Court ignores any definition of marriage.
The Genesis account of marriage could not be clearer. Eve was created from the rib of Adam and God brought her to Adam and he said in Genesis 2:23, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of Man." In the next verse, God said, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Jesus reiterated that marriage by definition is between only a man and a woman when he said in Mark 10:8, "And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh." So no matter what the White House, the Congress or the Supreme Court says, God says marriage is between a man and a woman.
In fact, I would argue that there is no such thing as same sex marriage from a Biblical world view. Marriage is not marriage unless it is between a man and a woman. The thought that there is same sex marriage is describing marriage in a way that cannot be considered marriage. The state may want to redefine marriage, but in doing so it is really abolishing the institution of marriage and family thereby redefining legally what is meant only spiritually as manifest in the flesh. The basic element of society is marriage. It is how that society sustains itself, prospers, advances. The absence of marriage will result in the breakdown of society. This is something missed by politicians who are to uphold and protect our nation.
In a 2012 speech, Masha Gessen, Russian born journalist and well known LGBT marriage activist said to great applause: "I agree, it's a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it's a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist...That causes my brain some trouble, and part of it why it causes me trouble is because fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we're going to do with marriage when we get there, you know, because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change. And again I don't think it should exist." That's the agenda's dirty little secret. It is not God's thought or way, but rather the thinking of satan-and the Supreme Court.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
The Defiance of Marriage Act (Part One)
The Defiance of Marriage Act (Part One)
Days from now, our country will be celebrating an America that its founders would barely recognize. Freedom, Alexis de Tocqueville once said, requires virtue. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that the pillars of both are under attack. By a single vote, five unelected justices determined that they know better than God and struck at the heart of marriage in America.
It was a powerful rebuke of a law FRC helped develop, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) -- but not the final blow. To the disappointment of many, this was not the sweeping nationwide redefinition of marriage that homosexual activists were hoping for. Instead, the Court's majority decided that the federal law is unconstitutional in states where same-sex "marriage" is legal. There, couples will have full access to the 1,100 federal benefits, rights, and protections that naturally married spouses enjoy. While it wasn't a complete dismantling of marriage, the Court's ruling paves the way for a wave of attacks on state constitutional amendments all across America, where same-sex couples will fight for the same "rights" the justices are granting elsewhere.
. . . In California, voters already understood what was at stake. In two separate referendums, they flooded the ballots for marriage, winning a constitutional amendment in 2008 in the largest state in America. For five years, the Left has battled to tear down this monument to democracy and the natural family. California Governor Jerry Brown, ignoring his people -- and the law -- took a page from President Obama's school of defiance and refused to defend the amendment in court. Left without options, the proponents of Proposition 8 took it upon themselves to protect it.
Today, the Supreme Court, in a profoundly disturbing decision, ruled that these voters lacked the standing to represent a state amendment that more than 7,000,000 Californians passed. Our legal experts are analyzing the complicated next steps and implications of this decision on marriage law in California. What is clear is that it was a slap in the face of democracy, in which five justices agreed that the people of 'We The People' can be ignored when the outcome is not what a tyrannical government wants. The Supreme Court holds instead that voters' voices can be discarded in a heap of judicial arrogance. Left untouched, the Court's ruling allows the executive branch to effectively veto any duly enacted law, without any remedy for a vulnerable electorate.
. . . Are these rulings demoralizing? Definitely. But we will not let a court's definition of marriage define us. As I've told my staff: we were not called to serve results. We were called to serve God. And that is what FRC will do in Washington and around the country -- proving marriage's unique importance to the future of society. Someday -- years from now -- when law students are memorizing this date and its importance in American history, what will they say about our movement? That it united together and changed the conversation on marriage? That it refused to quit until it transformed state and federal laws? Hopefully, they will say that you and I stood on truth -- and restored marriage and the Author of marriage to their rightful place in American policy.
Tony Perkins, President
Family Research Council
To read the entire article, go here.
The Defiance of Marriage Act (Part Two)
The Defiance of Marriage Act (Part Two*):
Congress and the States Fight Back
Even Justice Kennedy, the author of DOMA's downfall, mourned the precedent the Proposition 8 decision sets for a nation of sovereign people. "What the Court fails to grasp or accept," he writes, "is the basic premise of the initiative process. And it is this. The essence of democracy is that the right to make law rests in the people and flows to the government, not the other way around. Freedom resides first in the people without need of a grant from government. The California initiative process embodies these principles and has done so for over a century." Like us, he understands that if the court abandons the cornerstone of American government, the rest of the foundation will crumble.
Fortunately, conservative leaders across our country aren't about to let that happen. In interview after interview, tweet after tweet, the message echoed from Governor's mansions to congressional floors: we are not giving up. It started with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and flooded the wires since then. "No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted." Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kans.) vowed to lead the fight for a Federal Marriage Amendment. Governor Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said he would use today's rulings as motivation to work even harder for a state marriage amendment. "I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and other members of GOP leadership pledged to lead a robust debate over marriage and win more American hearts and minds to marriage as the union of "one man and one woman." Fifteen other members stood in solidarity in the Capitol for a special press conference, led by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), promising to "defend the rights of Americans to make marriage policy."
The Left will say that we are on the wrong side of history, but that doesn't matter if we're on the right side of truth. And the truth is not that #LoveIsLove, but that the love of a man and woman, for life, is God's design for marriage and family. Forty years ago, many people thought -- as some might today -- that the battle for life was lost. Over time, our movement and technology helped to change people's hearts and minds to a new understanding of the sanctity of the unborn child. And we will do it again.
As more Americans see and feel the erosion of religious liberty, of parental rights, of children's innocence, and of conscience rights, their opinions will no longer be swayed by emotions and popular opinion -- but by the reality of the fundamental harm that same-sex "marriage" poses to society. A generation from now, we could be celebrating the same sweeping victories on marriage that we're experiencing on life. But it will take a faithful remnant. People in America's pews and pulpits who have been silent can be silent no longer. For, "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy." (James 4:12)
Tony Perkins, President Family Research Council
* This article has been separated into two segments due to technical requirements for our Daily Brief. To read the entire article, go here.
Where Are We Now?
Where Are We Now?
A Commentary by Sara Ballenger
Let's face it . . . this has not been a great week for any of us . . .
The two decisions handed down by the Supreme Court yesterday have certainly left many of us feeling discouraged . . . and some of us without hope. Indeed, even Rush Limbaugh has now pronounced, "We are doomed!"
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed . . . "
(2 Corinthians 4:8,9)
As I have pondered the state of our nation over the past few weeks . . . the unending stream of scandals coming out of Washington, our continued moral decline, and now yesterday's Supreme Court rulings, it seems that we are a nation without hope.
So, as His remnant Bride, and being a people "without hope," we find ourselves at another RED SEA: cornered, no way of escape, with Pharoah's armies breathing down our necks. We can hear his chariots bearing down upon us, and some are in a state of near panic.
Happily, unlike the Israelites who were TRAPPED, we now know "the rest of the news!" The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob DID show up -- big time -- and made a way of escape for the Jews.
Meanwhile, Pharoah's armies remained in hot pursuit . . . until the wheels fell off their chariots when they got stuck in the mud . . . and perished as the waters of the Red Sea returned to normal.
> > > May I suggest today that THE RED SEA is the BEST PLACE TO STAND before our Almighty God! And as Moses declared, "Stand, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf!" . . . this is the message we still hear from our God today.
"For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed." (Malachi 3:6)
Saints of God: for now, we do not see the whole story, but we have all read to the end of the Book . . . and we WILL WIN!
"Blessed are you who weep, for you shall laugh." (Luke 6:21)
May His Grace enfold you and His Peace surround each one of you, now and always,
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Newly Published Scripture Strengthens Christians from Muslim Background
ASSIST News Service
Russian Ministries has published the Message of Glory New Testament, a new attempt to provide God's Word and encourage revival among people from a Muslim background in the former Soviet Union. This New Testament will help believers from a Muslim background grow in Christ
According to a news release from Russian Ministries, of all the cities of Europe, Moscow ranks first in the highest number of Muslims. Post-Soviet republics are gaining international notoriety with ties to terrorist groups and activities.
When reports of radical Islam grab widespread media attention, Russian Ministries said most people conclude that Christianity is not making headway in appealing to Islamics.
However, the ministry said, the untold story is the number of people from a Muslim background who are quietly turning to Christ.
According to Russian Ministries, Roman Silyantev, a Russian expert on Islam, estimates that more than two million people from various ethnic Muslim backgrounds have converted from Islam to Christianity in Russia. In contrast, Silantev estimates that the number of ethnic Russians who have converted to Islam is between two thousand and five thousand. (Read more)
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!
[This song was sung in New Creation Church Singapore when Singapore was under an orange alert for the H1N1 virus. .]
Be blessed as you enjoy their beautiful worship. Amen.