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The Daily Brief
Monday, December 9, 2013
On this second week of Advent, the second candle is lit . . . the Candle of Peace.
The Daily Brief
1. 5 Days Left: Congress races against year-end deadlines - Fox News
Payments to doctors, the price of milk, long-term jobless benefits and more are all on the line this week as lawmakers scramble to beat several end-of-year deadlines -- and all by Friday. Though Dec. 31 is still a few weeks away, congressional sources say the House plans to adjourn at the end of this week. With the Senate returning from its latest recess on Monday, that leaves just five days when both chambers are in session.
The chances for resolving any or all of these issues is unclear. . . lawmakers are also facing a Jan. 15 deadline to pass a budget or risk another partial government shutdown. (Read more)
- Man has his agenda(s), and God has His. Pray for God's perfect will to be done in and through the remaining session of this 113th Congress before each member returns to his or her home district for the Christmas holiday. Please see the article on "The Imperial Presidency" for more information on this issue, too.
- "Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)
2. Congress to hold hearing on plight of jailed Iranian-American pastor
- Fox News
A joint subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing next week on the worsening case of the Iranian-American pastor held by Tehran over his Christian faith.
The subcommittee will meet next Thursday to focus on the dire plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini, 33, of Boise, Idaho, who left his wife and two kids behind to visit family in his native Iran last year. Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, will testify, along with her attorney, Jordan Sekulow, the executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents her and the couple's children.
"We are grateful for this opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed's case, and it could not come at a more pivotal moment," Sekulow said. (Read more)
- Abba Father, may this hearing be held quickly and may constant pressure brought upon Iran to release Pastor Saeed from this prison, sending him back to the US. We ask for mercy, Father, as he is one of Yours, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." (Psalm 9: 9)
3. Obama defends interim Iran deal, seeks to assure Israel - Reuters
President Barack Obama on Saturday defended an interim deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program and, seeking to reassure Israel, pledged to step up sanctions or prepare for a potential military strike if Tehran fails to abide by the pact.
U.S. relations with Israel have been strained by the interim agreement, reached between Iran and major world powers including the United States, was designed to halt further advances in Iran's nuclear program and buy time for negotiations on a final settlement.
The United States says the agreement will give the international community time to see if Tehran is serious about curbing its nuclear ambitions, while providing some relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy. (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, the nation of Iran's leader has made it quite clear that Iranian nuclear ambitions will not be curtailed. What is it that is not understood by the US and other nations involved in this agreement? Soon it will be too late to attempt to stop this development, with horrific ramifications for our earth. Lord, abide with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, giving him Your wisdom, timing and will as to how to respond to this threat, in Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men." (Psalm 9: 19-20)
4. Netanyahu says nuke negotiators must demand Iran change 'genocidal policy' - Fox News
Warning the international community to "beware" Iran's intentions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the United States and other negotiators to demand as part of nuclear talks that the regime "change its genocidal policy" toward the Jewish state. "This is a regime committed to our destruction," Netanyahu said, at a forum on U.S.-Israel relations hosted by the Brookings Institution.
But Netanyahu said the talks also must include an "unequivocal demand" for Iran to not just tweak the "minutiae" of its nuclear program, but change its entire policy toward Israel. "I don't think any of us can overstate the Iranian danger," he said. (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, may the rest of the world truly hear and receive what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is saying to them about the intentions of the Iranian leadership. We ask You, Father, to confront the leaders of the US in their spirits and soul with the dangers inherent here, so they cannot deny understanding. We pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen and Amen.
- "But Jesus looked at them and said to them, 'With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (Matthew 19:26)
5. Regulation Nation: Gov't regs estimated to pound private sector with $1.8T in costs - Fox News
For America's businesses, the Obama administration has an unpleasant holiday surprise. A new report on the government's regulatory actions was released just before Thanksgiving, and it contains more than 3,300 rules -- which the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) estimates will, together with other regulations, cost more than $1.8 trillion to implement on an annual basis.
At a time when the economy is still struggling to zoom out of its post-recession rut, businesses worry that the crush of regulation is another sandbag weighing down the recovery. (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, here is another report of more extensive regulations being placed upon businesses in this nation when they are struggling to survive this economy. Father, we take the blood bought stake of the cross of Jesus Christ and drive it through all the dark, destructive spirits driving these regulations, shattering them so that they are no effect. We pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen and Amen.
- "Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight." (Proverbs 11:1)
6. 'Nothing is beyond our reach,' National Reconnaissance Office's new logo claims - Fox News
The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched a new spy satellite Thursday evening on mission NROL-39 -- and the new logo and tagline are quite an eye opener. The new logo features a giant, world-dominating octopus, its sucker-covered tentacles encircling the planet while it looks on with determination, a steely glint in its enormous eye. The logo carries a five-word tagline: "Nothing is beyond our reach."
Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst with the ACLU, raised a quizzical eyebrow at the new slogan. "Advice to @ODNIgov: You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now. This logo isn't helping," he wrote. (Read more)
- Lord, as this article reports, arrogance is growing in the surveillance community, with this new spy satellite logo showing itself to be an octopus encircling the globe, using its suction tentacles to pull out all the information it can reach. We rise up, binding and rebuking this devouring demonic spirit and asking You to crash this spy satellite into bits, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen and Amen.
- "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate." (Proverbs 8: 13)
7. IRS Floats Rule Changes to Tip 2014 Elections - Breitbart
The Internal Revenue Service quietly proposed new regulations aimed at 501(c)(4) organizations during the Thanksgiving recess that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, called "a crass political effort by the Administration to get what political advantage they can, when they can."
A 54-year-old rule says that an organization can become a social welfare organization "if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community." The new IRS regulation now says "campaign-related political activity" cannot count towards a group's social welfare mission. Such a regulation would discount numerous conservative advocacy groups either seeking for or wanting to maintain a 501(c)(4) tax status. (Read more)
- Lord, during the congressional recess period of Thanksgiving, this agency rewrote a 54-year-old rule where they could disqualify a number of conservative groups' 501(c)(4) status because what they advocate could be interpreted as politically related. So many issues have now become "political" as this nation has slidden into a state of moral decay. Forgive us, Lord, for we have sinned greatly as persons and as a nation, and have mercy Father. We ask Your hand of blessing to rest upon our people and Your hand of protection over all nonprofits that might be targeted by these new rules. We pray in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Proverbs 16:7)
8. Obama takes up new agenda item after battering on healthcare - Reuters
President Barack Obama, battered by weeks of turmoil over the malfunctioning HealthCare.Gov website, turned to a fresh item on his agenda on Saturday as he pressured Republicans in Congress to extend benefits for jobless Americans. It was a sign Obama may be slowly turning the corner from one of the worst crises of his five years in office, emerging bruised and weakened from the troubled rollout of his signature healthcare law, even as big challenges remain. "For decades, Congress has voted to offer relief to job-seekers - including when the unemployment rate was lower than it is today," Obama said in his weekly address. "But now that economic lifeline is in jeopardy." The unemployment benefits expire at year's end. (Read more)
- Abba Father, the numbers in these reports, of those who are jobless and/or underemployed, are too low. There are so many who no longer show up on the reports as they have been out of work so long. This is a crisis situation and unemployment benefits were originally to assist people while they found a job. What is needed is jobs. What this nation is receiving is more regulations of every kind that are destroying jobs. Lord we repent for this nation for so many sins being committed and ask for mercy for the families and workers who do not want to live 'government dependent'. We ask in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)
9. Report: States restore, add to mental health spending as Sandy Hook anniversary nears - Fox News
Though Congress has done little to increase spending or enact laws to improve mental-health care after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shootings, dozens of states have increased or restored such funding. States struggling to make ends meet during the recent recession cut more than $4 billion from their mental-health budgets from 2009 through 2012. Now with the one-year anniversary of the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook elementary school shootings just days away, a new report shows at least 37 states have increase spending with millions going toward preventing a similar situation in which the gunman was mentally ill. (Read more)
- Heavenly Father, we lift up praise that the most of the states have recognized the need for stronger support to assist those who are mentally ill. Pushing them out into society without sufficient support has through the years caused a large number of problems both for those who are ill and for those who have to live with them. We ask You, Father, to have mercy and draw all who will come to You, redeeming their souls and miraculously changing their lives. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 16:25)
10. American citizen Merrill Newman deported from North Korea lands in San Francisco - Fox News
An 85-year-old U.S. tourist detained in North Korea for more than a month for alleged hostile acts has landed in San Francisco after catching a flight from Beijing. North Korean state media said Saturday that Merrill Newman, a war veteran, was released because he had apologized for his alleged crimes during the Korean War and because of his age and medical condition.
He was joined by family members at San Francisco International Airport and spoke briefly to the media. He said he was happy to be home, but tired. (Read more)
- Father, we lift up praise that this elderly veteran has been released and is now home with his family. Thank you Jesus!! Amen and Amen.
- "The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect." (Psalm 33:10)
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 sustained Your inheritance when it was weary." (Psalms 68:9)
Ed. Note: These headlines appeared in Friday's edition of the Daily Brief. Today, we are adding links to all original sources.
1. U.S. assures Israel that core Iran sanctions still in place - Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that core sanctions against Iran would remain in place despite its interim nuclear deal with world powers. (Read more)
2. Israel refuses to compromise on Jordan Valley security - AFP
Israel's deputy defence minister ruled out Thursday any compromise on security in the Jordan Valley as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held security talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry. (Read more)
3. Palestinians reject US security ideas for peace accord - Jerusalem Post
Palestinians rejected ideas raised by visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a Palestinian official said. (Read more)
4. EU threatens to punish both Israel, PA if peace talks fail - Israel Hayom
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was set to arrive in Israel Wednesday at the height of diplomatic tensions between Washington and Jerusalem over Iran. Kerry was set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to try to make progress in diplomatic negotiations. (Read more)
5. Expectations low as Kerry tries to breathe new life into peace talks - Ynet News
Expectations for John Kerry's latest visit in Israel are markedly low as the US secretary of state makes a desperate attempt to salvage stagnant peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. (Read more)
6. Hezbollah threatens to retaliate against Israel for assassination - Jerusalem Post
A Lebanese newspaper reported on Thursday that Hezbollah blames Israel for the assassination of Hassan al-Laqqis and will respond. Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, which tends to support the "axis of resistance" of Hezbollah, Iran and Syria, stated in an article titled "Hezbollah will respond" that all signs point to Israel for the assassination. (Read more)
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked." (Psalm 82:4)
Pakistan: Bahawalpur Church carnage 2001, she still fears to speak
Whether, they are victims of Gojra, Joseph Colony Lahore, All Saints Church Peshawar or St. Dominic Church Bahawalpur, no one wants to live in Islamic Republic of Pakistan due to rising incidents of violence against them on religion grounds but what a fate?
USA, Canada, Australia and EU is ready to give permanent residencies to Muslim terrorists of Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Egypt and Iran but reluctant to accept Pakistani Christians as refugees or issue them even visit visas.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC in a statement said that Australia offers asylum to hundreds of thousands of Muslim Hazara community members after Quetta incidents and some EU countries offer permanent residencies to Muslims of Syria but Australia, EU, Canada and USA never showed any human sympathy towards victims of Bahawalpur, Gojra or Peshawar Churches victims who were only assassinated that they are Christians which is religion of NATO forces.
PCC Chief said that more than fifty accused of blasphemy laws are hiding in different cities of Pakistan who can be killed by Muslim extremists in their cities but EU, Australia, Canada and USA are reluctant to issue visa to them.
"I appeal all human rights supporting countries to award asylum to Christian victims of violence, oppression and Islamic blasphemy laws in Pakistan" said Nazir Bhatti
(By Pakistan Christian Post PCP investigative team)
(Read entire article here.)
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
Former Intel Chiefs Say Iran Has Nuke Capability
Former Intel Chiefs: Iran Already Nuke Capable,
Congressman Calls for Use of Tactical Nukes
The former heads of two of the world's most powerful intelligence agencies this week, in completely separate speeches held half a world apart, stated that Iran has reached the point of what is known as a "nuclear threshold state" and already has the ability to build several nuclear bombs in just a matter of a few weeks.
Commenting in New York on the interim accord reached earlier in the week between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations, Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, stated the following:
"We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment. There is no question about that. That's a different red line than we used to have. It says in the agreement that we will come to an agreement with regard to their right to enrich, which is very different than UN security council resolutions to date that says they do not have a right to enrich. At the end of the day Iran is going to be a nuclear threshold state. Right now, the Iranians are far too close to a nuclear weapon."
On the other side of the planet, General Amos Yadlin, the former chief of Israel's Military Intelligence Directorate, had equally revealing comments on the agreement:
"Iran is approaching breakout point to a nuclear bomb.The fact that Iran is a nuclear threshold state is not the fault of this agreement. Iran spent many years developing this capability and no one managed to stop it. Iran is a step before breakout to a bomb. This is unfortunate but true."
[Comment from Threat Journal USA}:
Unless Iran all of a sudden has a national change of heart, which is highly doubtful, it would appear that war in the Middle East is a certainty. It could very well start with Iran attacking Israel, Israel preemptively striking Iran, or Western nations striking Iran to set back or end their program.
Congressman Calls for Use of Tactical Nukes
In an interview this week with CSPAN, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) called for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in the event of war with Iran. Watch this portion of his interview here. For reference, Congressman Hunter is a reserve United States Marine Corps officer and a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He is the first of only seven members of Congress who are combat veterans of either conflict. He currently holds the rank of Major.
(Source: Threat Journal)
U.S. General Launches "Stand Up America!"
US General Leads Fresh Assault on Obama's Policies
Flawed approach 'devastating' military, making 'victory' impossible
A prominent Army general, bolstered by other military and defense leaders, contends President Obama's preferred counterinsurgency policy is proving to be "devastating" for America and rewarding to its enemies.
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, now retired, was deputy commanding General in the Army's Pacific Command, is founder of Stand up America and has been a military analyst for Fox News.
Vallely says Obama has so degraded and demoralized the military in multiple ways - including a major purge of senior officers, with almost 200 relieved of duty over Obama's five years as commander-in-chief and nine generals this year alone - that those remaining cannot speak out for fear of being forced out of the military.
Essentially, Obama's counterinsurgency, or COIN, doctrine is a form of warfare that makes soldiers trained to fight tank battles shift to a combat style that emphasizes politics, cultural awareness and protecting the local population from insurgent attacks, Vallely said.
The result looks like failure, he said. (WorldNet Daily) Read more.
- Pray for the protection of Major General Vallely and all who will work with him to create Stand Up America. It IS time to defend our nation, any way we can, through prayer and through action. May this effort be guided by the Hand of the Lord, and find success among men. Amen.
- "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." (Psalm 84:11)
[Reported by Hebrew Nation News]
The Imperial Presidency
"The Imperial Presidency Approached Completion"
Below please find excerpts from this document, written by Matthew Staver, Chairman, Liberty Counsel Action
President Barack Obama has been successful in almost every effort he has made to sidestep the Constitution, commandeer power for the Executive Branch, undermine Congress, and dominate the federal judiciary. His administration has become so arrogant that the House Judiciary Committee is now considering taking legal action to force the President to adhere to established law!
One lawmaker said that if Barack Obama can't be stopped by the courts, "the imperial presidency is complete." Meanwhile, Democrats in the United States Senate have just granted Barack Obama one of the most powerful gifts ever bestowed upon an American President.
In a matter of days, President Barack Obama will begin cashing in on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's gift of destroying the filibuster on presidential appointments.
President Obama will soon begin sending scores of radical nominees for confirmation in high-level judicial and executive positions. As a result, he will get virtually unchallenged Executive Orders and a host of new federal regulations - none of which will have been passed by Congress.
This is all happening because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democrat entourage ramrodded a rule change called the "nuclear option" through the Senate.
What is about to unfold is unprecedented in the history of our nation - and is certainly not what our Founding Fathers envisioned.
The House is considering legal action against the President.
The rising voices of patriots across the nation calling for accountability are causing a stir in the House Judiciary Committee.
In a meeting on Tuesday, members of that committee considered their legal options to hold the President accountable for his selective adherence to existing laws while creating pseudo-laws through Executive Orders.
Lawmakers cited Obama's selective adherence to laws in the Affordable Care Act, immigration statutes, and drug enforcement laws. His actions are considered by many lawmakers as being completely outside of his constitutional authority.
An Imperial Presidency is complete when the Legislative Branch is ignored and the courts are stacked.
In considering a course of action, Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) said that Congress would have little recourse to curb Obama's power if it could not use the courts.
American patriots, it is time to rise up!
Once a course of action is determined by the House Judiciary Committee, Liberty Counsel Action will consider joining them in their initiative.
Next week the United States Senate, under the tyranny of Harry Reid, begins its final 2013 session. Included in its order of business will be the confirmation of over 180 bureaucrats and 50 judicial ideologues handpicked by President Obama.
We are calling upon all patriots to stand against Harry Reid's dismissal of the longstanding rules governing the Senate. His sole purpose in changing the rules was to ramrod through Barack Obama's nominees, the first of whom will probably be brought to the Senate for confirmation next week.
Please take a moment right now and utilize the powerful LCA Fax Barrage system to tell Harry Reid, your two state senators, and other key members of the senior chamber that you oppose Reid's tyrannical actions - and the ramrodding of Obama's leftist nominees through the Senate. [Note: there is a fee for this service.]
(Read full article here)
The Politics of Subversion
"The Politics of Subversion"
by Caroline Glick
To read this article by Caroine Glick in the Jerusalem Post, go here. Topic: the current "peace talks" and their implications for Israel.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Court Grants HHS Mandate Reprieve for Missouri Automotive Business
A federal court on Tuesday said an automotive business in Kansas City does not have to comply with a government mandate requiring it to offer potential abortion-inducing drugs in its employee health plans. The order temporarily halts the mandate as the case continues.
Randy Reed, who owns Randy Reed Automotive, is a Christian. He filed suit because the mandate violates his beliefs, according to court documents.
"The government has no business forcing citizens to choose between making a living and living free," said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Legal Counsel Dale Schowengerdt. "This family will be free from that type of coercion while higher courts are considering the administration's mandate."
The Obama administration required for-profit businesses to comply with the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate by August of 2012. Nonprofits - many of which are faith-based - have a so-called safe harbor until January.
All Americans should be concerned about such threats to their freedom, Schowengerdt said.
"If the government can force family business owners and job creators like this one to act contrary to their deepest convictions under the threat of fining them out of business, it is a danger to everybody." (CitizenLink) Read more.
Worship With Us Today!
Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian
Go here to enjoy the U.S. Air Force Band playing two beautiful songs of the season, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and "Joy to the World" in a surprise performance at the Smithsonian's new Air and Space museum near Washington, D.C.
Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum's "Milestones of Flight" gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors with its first-ever flash mob. The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring/Joy to the World," led by the band's commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang. Unsuspecting museum visitors including tourists and school groups were astonished as instrumentalists streamed into the gallery from behind airplanes and space capsules, and vocalists burst into song from the Museum's second floor balcony.
Note, too, the absolute RAPTURE upon the faces of those unsuspecting tourists who were suddenly overcome with this beautiful act of the Grace of God!
JOY TO THE WORLD!
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!