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The Daily Brief
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
"The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases."
The Daily Brief
1. Thailand crisis: Protesters launch Bangkok 'shutdown' - BBC
Protesters are blocking roads in parts of the Thai capital, Bangkok, in a bid to oust the government before snap elections on 2 February. The protesters have built barricades and occupied key road junctions. The government has deployed 18,000 security personnel to maintain order. (Read more)
- Dear Lord, we intercede for this troubled country. We intercede that order would come to the population and that no loss of life will happen. In the name of Jesus, we pray for real freedom to prevail there. Father, during this crisis, we pray that You would send laborers into the harvest to bring souls into Your Kingdom and that the Prince of Peace would be worshiped by more people than ever before in this heavily Buddhist country.
- "I will say to the prisoners, 'Come out into freedom,' and to those in darkness, 'Come into the light.' They will be my sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare." (Isaiah 49:9)
2. Killing Them Softly - Vocativ
It's lethal injection by house call in Belgium, where deaths by doctor are up 6,000 percent. We hit the road with one of euthanasia's most prolific practitioners... Today only Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and Colombia allow physicians to actively facilitate the death of a patient, while Switzerland and several U.S. states permit the more indirect method of "assisted suicide." (Read more; article only, please)
- Father God, we remain horrified by reports like these, and we mourn for those patients who have perished at the hands of doctors who have given themselves over to evil. We ask You to forgive these physicians, and to draw each one unto You by an act of Your mercy and Your grace. We ask You to reach down from heaven and intervene in the hearts of legislators, so that euthanasia and all related medical practices be made illegal, in every nation on earth. Thank you again, Lord, for answering our prayer, in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "Thou shalt not kill." (Exodus 20:13)
3. Rodman 'sorry' after controversial North Korea trip - CNN
An emotional Dennis Rodman appeared to break down Monday as he apologised on his return from a controversial trip to North Korea, where he sang "Happy Birthday" to regime leader Kim Jong-Un. The former NBA star was widely criticised for refusing to bring up human rights abuses or the plight of a US missionary detained in North Korea during his week-long visit. (Read more)
- Father we pray that this is genuine repentance for the visit to North Korea that has been so offensive to those who have been tortured for their faith in Jesus and for desiring the basic human rights given by You, our Creator. Please set this athlete's priorities straight in Your sight and give him the mind of Christ in these matters. We ask that You would do a miracle to cause the release of this faithful missionary of Yours and that his health be supernaturally sustained by You.
- "Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:5)
4. Alberta woman who died of H5N1 was in her 20s - CBC
Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease consultant with Toronto's University Health Network who's not with the WHO, says it's "odd" for humans to get infected with H5N1 from a non-poultry source. "Almost all of the cases that we've heard about going back to the 1990s, there's been direct contact with poultry." (Read more)
- Oh Lord, have mercy on us as scientists research how this woman got infected how to prevent other cases from happening that are not even directly associated with poultry. Give them divine wisdom and protect others from infection. We ask that You would stop the proliferation of this disease by Your great power, in the name of Jesus.
- "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." (Luke 9:1)
5. 'Fewer and fewer' in Senate buy global warming - WND
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., admits that when Al Gore first began preaching the tenets of global warming, he thought "there might be something to it." But now the senator and author of "The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future" says not only has he seen through the "hoax," but so have his fellow lawmakers. (Read more)
- Father God, we offer up a chorus of praise for this report, as this news is an answer to our prayers. Lord God, we ask that You would now move on the hearts of all in Congress to begin generating legislation, repealing any laws based upon the threat of global warming, and instead writing laws that will bring true comfort to the people of our nation. We ask this in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy be made full." (John 16:24)
6. Unemployment Rate Doublethink - Personal Liberty Digest
War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent so more people are working, the recovery is full bore. It's all doublethink. It's the new normal. Call it cognitive dissonance. (Read more)
- Lord God, in these confusing times, we ask for grace to be able to discern truth from error, and that straight path from the crooked. Help us all to "see through" the "doublethink" being reported in this article, and to walk solely according to the authority of Your Word. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer, amen.
- "Lord Jehovah is far from the evil ones and he hears the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29)
7. Supreme Court won't hear Arizona's abortion-law appeal - Fox News
The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal and will let stand a federal judge's ruling striking down an Arizona law that restricts abortions after 20 weeks. (Read more)
- We are grieved for the countless numbers of babies in the State of Arizona who will not see the light of day as their lives are taken in the womb due to this decision by the "high court" in Washington. We ask our Lord to forgive these Supreme Court justices for their blindness; they cannot know what they are doing. By the shedding of innocent blood, they are placing a curse on our land. Have mercy, O Lord, amen.
- "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood . . ." (Proverbs 6: 16,17)
8. BREAKING NEWS: Judge rules Okla. ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional - Fox News
Oklahoma's gay marriage ban violates the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern handed down the ruling in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. Kern immediately stayed his ruling pending appeals, meaning gay marriages won't happen in Oklahoma right away. (Read more)
- Once again, stand in the gap for our nation . . . a nation that at times seems to have taken leave of our senses. And praise the Lord for His remnant Bride that is still remaining "true to the true."
Lift up this ruling before the High Court of Heaven and ask that it be overturned when appealed. Pray!
- "He saw that there was no one, he was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm achieved salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him." (Isaiah 59:16)
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:
"Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion; for I will make your horn iron, and I will make your hoofs bronze; and you shall crush many peoples."(Micah 4:12)
1. Abbas: Without East Jerusalem there will be no peace with Israel - IMRA
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas told a delegation on Saturday that without East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state, there will be "no peace between us and Israel."
2. Kerry says Israeli-Palestinian peace process at 'critical point' - Jerusalem Post
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Arab League foreign ministers late Sunday that Washington was determined to bring Israel and the Palestinians together in an effort to end the decades-long conflict.
3. IAF strikes Gaza in response to rockets fired on southern Israel - Jerusalem Post
The Israel Air Force struck two targets in Gaza on Monday evening in response to rocket fire on southern Israel earlier in the day. The rockets, which landed in fields in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, came shortly after the completion of the funeral service for former prime minister Ariel Sharon in the nearby Sycamore Ranch.
4. Peres and Biden meet: Two-state solution only hope for Israel - Ynet News
Peres meets VP Biden who praises Sharon as great leader who understood peace, two-state solution pertinent for Israel's survival. Peres says now is time for tough decisions.
5. Two rockets fired from Gaza at the end of Ariel Sharon's funeral Ynet News
Only a short time after leaders from Israel and the world left the northern Negev ranch where former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was laid to rest, two rockets were launched at the area. There were no injuries or damage reported.
6. Ariel Sharon buried at Negev home, after Knesset and IDF honors - Ynet News
Israel honored former prime minister Ariel Sharon with a three-part state funeral Monday, beginning in the Knesset plaza and ending with his burial at his beloved Sycamore Ranch, the family home in the Negev.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"For the Lord will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance." (Psalm 94:14)
Four Christian Converts Arrested in Iran on New Year's Eve - ICHRI
Plainclothes officers arrested four Christian converts in a village outside of Tehran on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, a source close to Iran's Christian converts told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Sara Rahiminejad, Majid Sheidaee, Mostafa Nadri, and George Issaian were violently arrested at the latter's home in Fardis village of Karaj, 36 kilometers outside Tehran, as they celebrated the Christian New Year.
"Several Christian converts had gathered at the home of George Issaian to celebrate the New Year when plainclothes forces stormed the home, beat up those in attendance, and arrested them in an insulting way," the source told the Campaign. According to the source, the forces first searched Mr. Issaian's home and the personal belongings of the attendees and then confiscated "a computer, laptops, CDs, family albums, a satellite receiver, and several books and notes."
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
Week of January 13 - 17, 2014
Fellow Conservative Patriots,
2014 is beginning to look a lot like every other year in Washington. Instead of passing a proper budget, Congress will vote on a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus bill, which lumps almost every expenditure together in one bill - a bill few members will ever read. They will also pass another unprecedented extension of unemployment benefits and promise to offset the cost 11 years from now. It's business as usual in Washington. It's bills like this that raise the stakes of the 2014 primary season even higher.
Even though Congress already agreed on the topline spending figures for the next two years, they never passed an actual budget for the remainder of FY 2014. On Monday, the House introduced a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus bill to fund the government until October. However, given that the current funding bill expires Wednesday night, there will not be enough time for both the House and the Senate to consider the bill. As such, they plan to pass another short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) just to fund the government through Saturday night, giving Congress the full week to pass the omnibus bill.
Although these budget bills are merely leftovers from the October and December agreements, conservatives should not shy away from speaking out against them. The purpose of funding government through a CR is to give the members a chance to finish the budget process in regular order. That means passing each of the 12 appropriations bills, one-at-a-time, in regular order. Instead they used the CR delays to pass one massive omnibus bill, which lumps every aspect of government together without the ability of most members to drill down into the line items of the budget.
Moreover, as we've noted before, this bill will completely fund Obamacare, and the lack of a GOP demand to isolate funding for the HHS in a separate bill will obviate our ability to fight Obamacare later this year.
Another concern for conservatives is that in addition to allocating $1.012 trillion in discretionary spending, this bill will appropriate $91.7 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO). The lion's share of this money will go towards the war in Afghanistan. This is itself is disturbing because it is long past due for Congress to audit our broader plans in the region. At present, we are entering our 13th year in the country with no clear mission. Our troops are taking casualties almost on a daily basis as they must confront a faceless enemy with their hands tied from egregious rules of engagement. We should not rubber stamp the funding as a footnote to the omnibus bill without demanding a clear plan from the administration to either define the mission and untie our troops or bring them home immediately.
In addition, the OCO account includes funding for the State Department to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis. Again, our involvement in this matter is undefined and Congress should first debate the authorization of such endeavors before appropriating money for the execution.
The Daily Jot
Prophetic White House preparing the way for antichrist
The LA Times is reporting that key elements of a new nuclear agreement with Iran contains a secret 30-page side agreement revealed in a Persian language interview with the Iranian Students News Agency. The Times reports that Abbas Araqchi, Iran's chief negotiator, says there is a joint commission to oversee how the deal is implemented and it gives Iran the "right" to continue nuclear research and development. In other words, the US will be paying Iran billions of dollars (in reduced sanctions) to continue its nuclear quest. The president and his secretaries of State continue to prepare the way for the emergence of the antichrist by supporting the advance of Islam.
The antichrist road builders, however, likely would have never revealed the "nonpaper" side agreement had Abbas kept it secret. You see, "nonpaper" is a diplomatic term used for a side agreement that can be kept from the public. Hand caught in the secret cookie jar, both the State Department and the White House tried to pass the buck between them on acknowledging the nonpaper. Finally, the State Department said there was no secret agreement and details of the nonpaper would be disclosed because they were really "technical plans submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency." But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said they were weighing how much of the text to release publicly.
Allowing Iran to build the "bomb" accelerates the earthly timepiece of the end times, which American presidents have been part and parcel to since Jimmy Carter. Carter deposed the Shah of Iran, allowing the radical Ayatollahs to take over, birthing modern terrorism. There was a brief respite during the Reagan years. Then George HW Bush began the "peace" process again by engaging Yassir Arafat's terrorist Palestinian Liberation Organization. Bill Clinton not only accelerated the "Palestinian" effort, but also afforded North Korea the technology to build a nuclear bomb. George W Bush called for a two-state solution and said Islam was a peaceful religion that served the same God as Christians and Jews.
The current president has put the prophecy clock in fast forward by aligning America with the forces of Islam. Iran having a nuclear weapon may well be the catalyst needed to bring Sunni and Shiite together long enough to attack Israel. In other words, the political power of a nuclear weapon gives Iran a place of prominence at the end time table. Ezekiel 38 cites modern Iran with Libya, modern Sudan, and Magog, Meshech and Tubal--all in modern Turkey--as coming against Israel in a colossal end time battle. Verse 12 saying, "To take a spoil and to take a prey." The spoil and prey are Israel. US leadership is aiding and abetting the antichrist (2 John 7--For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist).
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
About that Omnibus
Omnibus or Omnibust? Congress Debates Trillion-Dollar Deal
This New Year's, one person who isn't going on a diet is Uncle Sam. In the spending package released yesterday, Congress blows by the old sequester caps, giving leaders a trillion-dollar rope to string along taxpayers. The bill, which at 1,582 pages is about as long as the local phone book, was more than three and half years in the making. But not everyone thinks the final product was worth the wait. With the two parties racing to pass the bill, it's almost impossible to give each department's proposal the scrutiny it deserves. And, as Americans know from the ObamaCare debate, a bill longer than the Gutenberg Bible leaves plenty of pockets to hide inefficiencies, duplicities, and pork.
Still, if Congress gives this omnibus a green light, it would mark the first time since 2011 that leaders have managed to bundle all 12 appropriations measures into one fiscal year proposal. Since then, the House and Senate have been relying on a patchwork process of continuing resolutions, or CRs -- short-term deals that helped the two sides avoid major sticking points like abortion funding and ObamaCare.
Under an umbrella bill like this one, government agencies would be funded through September 30. Congressman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who tag-teamed with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) to craft the plan, said, "As with any compromise, not everyone will like everything in this bill." So far, that seems to be the case, as conservatives air plenty of legitimate gripes about the plan.
For pro-lifers, the outcome was a mixed bag. The FRC team worked around-the-clock to defend key policy riders, like the Hyde, Helms, Dornan, and other amendments that ban taxpayer-funded abortions in D.C., the federal government, and foreign aid. After a long battle, we also managed to gouge $10 million from "family planning" funds for organizations like Planned Parenthood in Title X and preserve the modest $5 million allotted for abstinence education.
Despite that success, Republicans failed to achieve one of the biggest priorities of the pro-life community: attaching conscience protections to a must-pass piece of legislation. As Sen. Mikulski said, "ObamaCare lives another day." But for millions of Americans, religious liberty does not. For months, groups like FRC had stressed the importance of exempting employers from the HHS mandate. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) pushed intently behind the scenes for language that would spare Americans from paying for pills and procedures that violate their beliefs -- but in the end, the White House won out. Although the bill makes no meaningful dent in ObamaCare, it does take a $1 billion bite out of the program's slush fund.
For military hawks, the Defense Department will not suffer as much as last year, when it bore the brunt of the spending cuts. But based on the growing attacks on religious freedom and the latest revelations of Robert Gates, monetary reductions should be the least of our concerns when it comes to the military. Even veterans are getting the short end of the omnibus stick, as a wave of pension cuts are set to take effect in retirement pay. "I'm glad the omnibus bill restores benefits for disabled veterans and spouses of those who have died in harm's way," Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) explained. "But we should be restoring our full promise to our service members, and I will be working to ensure this happens."
At least proponents of school choice will be happy to know that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) won his $16 million fight to fund a voucher program in D.C. Unfortunately, that pales in comparison to the $1 billion bump that the controversial Head Start and Early Head Start are celebrating -- despite the government's analysis that the programs not only failed kids, but may have harmed them in the process! (Family Research Council)
About the IRS
IRS: Taxing the Limits of Lawlessness
The IRS had the "most despised government agency" title locked up -- until the Justice Department entered the running. As if the Attorney General's addiction to scandal wasn't enough, the DOJ announced that it would most likely not be pursuing criminal action against the IRS employees who targeted conservatives and pro-family groups for harassment. In an announcement that is sure to create more controversy than it clears up, the FBI explained that it hadn't found evidence of the "enemy hunting" the agency had been accused of.
Officials told the Wall Street Journal that they were chalking up most of the political bias to "mismanaged bureaucracy" and confusion over the rules the IRS was enforcing. Unless agents uncover something in the next few days, the IRS will be off the hook for everything from leaking sensitive donor information to denying tax exempt status to organizations simply for their conservative leanings. "They say the fox isn't good to guard the henhouse," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). Well, "the fox is probably not good to investigate the henhouse either. I think these investigations need to be done by independent people outside of the administration."
Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and our good friend Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) were outraged by the FBI's findings and pinned the blame on the man whose name has become synonymous with lawlessness: Eric Holder. "These revelations further undermine the credibility of the Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department under his leadership," the duo said in a statement. "Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation." Although the IRS is set to lose a half-million dollars in funding in the omnibus, that's barely a slap on the wrist for the headache and financial loss that groups like National Organization for Marriage have suffered at the hands of the IRS's spiteful liberals. Making matters worse, the House Oversight Committee had identified the person responsible for the illegal leaks, but under the law, could do nothing to punish him.
While a lack of supervision may be responsible for breeding corruption, a criminal act is still a criminal act. The person(s) responsible for breaking the law should be held accountable for their actions, and those responsible for mismanagement should be demoted or fired. This lack of trust should concern every freedom-loving American-because when the trust in the Obama administration bottoms out, it will turn into a disdain for government, which will have long-term effects for government at every level. The lawlessness of the Obama administration is leading America down a path toward anarchy.
But don't take my word for it. Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a liberal judge who is probably a favorite of the President's, held a similar view when he observed: "Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law-breaker, it breeds contempt for law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself, it invites anarchy." (Family Research Council)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
The "Hebrews 13:3 Project":
Pastors Unite in Prayer in Front of White House on Behalf of Pastor Saeed
"Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." - (Hebrews 13:3)
Rev. Patrick Mahoney is heading up a call to prayer for clergy members to gather in prayer outside the White House, for Pastor Saeed Abedini's release from an Iranian prison.
Pastor Saeed, an American citizen, is serving a brutal 8 year prison sentence in Iran for his Christian faith. He was arrested while making plans to build an orphanage in that country.
Saeed's wife, Naghmeh has been working constantly to see her husband released; appearing before congress and the UN on his behalf.
Unfortunately, there has not been much action on the part of the US government, which has led Naghmeh to say "I feel abandoned by my government."
Notes Rev. Mahoney, "We cannot let Naghmeh feel abandoned by the Church!" "It is critical that the faith community be a loud and prophetic voice for Pastor Saeed and religious freedom and challenge President Obama to engage on this issue! We must send a clear message to our President that Christians will never rest until our brother is home with his family!"How can we be silent when our dear brother and fellow American citizen has been abandoned and is being brutalized in an Iranian prison for his faith. Every day Pastor Saeed is in that prison, his life is at risk."
Mahoney has organized an ongoing event which began Monday, and continuing every Monday through March 8th, as a way to pray publicly for Saeed's release, and bring awareness of the situation to the administration.
> > > To learn more about the Hebrews 13:3 mission, go here to view their statement on their Facebook page.
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders:
Spectacular photographs show the moment Niagara Falls FROZE
in polar vortex
(Report filed January8, 2014)
- The record-breaking chill across the U.S. and Canada was so frigid it literally stopped Niagara Falls in its tracks
- Tuesday (Jan. 7) was a day of record-setting cold in Niagara, with the mercury bottoming out at a chilling -2F. Combined with the wind chills, it felt like -20F
- Thankfully, the freezing air and 'polar vortex' that turned the cascading water to ice will depart during the second half of this week, and a far-reaching January thaw will begin
The incredible pictures show frozen mist coating the landscape around Prospect Point at Niagara Falls State Park and the Rainbow Bridge is seen with solid ice below it.
The 'unprecedented' amounts of ice in the upper Niagara River, caused by the freezing conditions, caused a so-called ice jam and in turn flooding on Grand Island and Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls. According to historical records, during only one year, 1848, has freezing weather caused the thousands of cubic feet of water per second flowing over the Niagara Falls to run dry, an event thought to have been caused by ice jamming and damming upriver, according to environmentalgraffiti.com.
(Source: UK Mail Online)
[To view these spectacular photos, go here.]
(Note: This extensive report indicates that there have been other times in history when Niagara Falls froze over. Nevertheless, we feel that these spectacular pictures are worth our attention!)
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke 11:25-28)
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Michael W. Smith