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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
"You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon."
"I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isa. 41:10)
The Daily Brief
1. US-Israel ties at new low after Netanyahu-Kerry phone 'disconnect' - Jerusalem Post
How badly have US-Israel relations deteriorated in recent weeks? If Israeli media reports are any indication, tensions boiled over to the point where a phone call between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ended due to "communications problems" earlier this week. Both men have not spoken since, according to the State Department.
Kerry's spokesperson, Jen Psaki, told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that the two men have not spoken since a brief phone call over the situation in Gaza ended because of "communications problems." (Read more)
- Abba, our Father, we thank You that You are not only our Father, and the only True and Living God, You are also the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel. We come to You humbly on the part of our nation, and its relationship to Israel, which You have said is the "apple of Your Eye". Firstly, we bind up the spirit of "the prince of the powers of the air", who is able to distort what is being said across the air waves between the speaker's mouth, and the hearer's ear. According to Ephesians 2:2 this spirit is "still at work among the disobedient, and those who go against the purposes of God" (Amp).
We ask that these men will use wisdom and be gracious to one another, and respectful, even though they disagree. We ask You to enable Mr. Kerry to understand where PM Netanyahu is coming from, and the urgency of Israel's position. We pray that our President, and Mr. Kerry would be humble, and not arrogant. We ask that our nation will be an encouragement to Israel, and a blessing; that we would stand behind them in their quest to bring peace, without giving up the Land You have given them. If Mr. Kerry cannot be supportive, then may he keep his mouth shut. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Colossians 4:6) "After all, even fools may be thought wise and intelligent if they stay quiet and keep their mouths shut." (Proverbs 17:28)
2. Jimmy Carter calls on US, EU to recognize Hamas - Fox News
Former US president Jimmy Carter has called on the United States and EU to recognize Hamas as "not just a military but also a political force" in an op-ed written for Foreign Policy on Monday.
"Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it cooperate in its own demise. Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor - one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people - can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons," Carter writes. (Read more)
- Scripture exhorts us to pray for all in authority, but not necessarily for their policies. We praise God that Jimmy Carter has no real authority in this hour, so his words carry no weight. We cancel those words in the Blood of Jesus, and we ask our Lord to bring insight to Jimmy Carter, because Hamas is a force designed only for the destruction of Israel - period. Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does.
- Luke 23:34
3. Netanyahu touts importance of demilitarizing Gaza in address to foreign press - Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the foreign press on Wednesday evening following what appeared to be the end of Israel's operation in the Gaza Strip. In his speech, Netanyahu emphasized how careful the IDF was to prevent civilian casualties, and expressed Israel's "deep regret" at every civilian death in Gaza, saying "every civilian casualty is a tragedy. . . Ninety percent of fatalities could have been avoided had Hamas not rejected the same cease-fire it now accepts" said Netanyahu. He showed videos displaying Hamas's use of human shields and firing of rockets from populated areas. "Hamas uses civilian deaths as PR fodder," the prime minister said. "Can we accept a situation where terrorists are exonerated, and victims accused?" (Read more)
- Lord God Almighty in heaven, we ask that the nations would take heed to the words of P.M. Netanyahu, for only in the demilitarizing of Hamas can there be the beginning of peace in the Middle East. We thank You for raising up this man of great wisdom -- this "lion of Judah" - who is a voice of reason in a time of chaos. Take heed, O kings of the earth . . . take heed.
- "Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." (Psalm 2:10-12)
4. Kurds plan counter-offensive against ISIS - Daily Star
Kurdish peshmerga forces are planning a counter-offensive against Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) fighters in northern Iraq after being routed by the radical Sunni insurgents Sunday, senior Kurdish officials said Monday.
One of the officials told Reuters the Kurds had been overstretched in a vast region but were now calling in a large number of fighters to hit back. "It is a very dangerous situation for the region. Something needs to be done soon."
ISIS inflicted its first major defeat on the Kurds with a dramatic advance through three towns to reach the Mosul Dam, acquiring a fifth oil field to fund its operations along the way. (Read more)
- Father, we pray the Kurds will succeed in taking back what the ISIS fighters have acquired. We pray the plans of ISIS will fail and all territory will be regained. In Jesus Name.
- "For You have girded me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me." (Psalm 18:39)
5. Official: Kurdish forces fend off ISIS fighters, hold Mosul Dam - CNN
The director of Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam shot down reports Monday that it had been seized by the radical Islamic State, saying Kurdish forces fended off an assault. Fighters with the Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, were pushed back after gaining access to a housing compound for employees who work at the dam just north of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, Abdul Khaliq al-Dabbagh, the director of the Mosul Dam, said.
Conflicting reports about who was in control of the dam on the Tigris River began Sunday amid news of fierce fighting between Islamic State fighters and Kurdish forces, known as Peshmerga. A Kurdish commander told CNN on Sunday that ISIS had taken control of it, though employees remained at the dam. But al-Dabbagh said the Peshmerga held their positions until reinforcements arrived early Monday morning. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for this updated report that the Kurds have indeed fended off ISIS fighters. We pray the KURDS position will be strengthened to remain in control of the Dam.
- "Through You we will push down our enemies; through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us. In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever." (Psalm 44:5)
6. Iraq offers air support to Kurdish fighters - BBC
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has ordered the air force to provide support to Kurdish forces fighting Sunni militants in the north. It comes after the Islamic State (formerly known as Isis) seized two towns and two nearby oilfields from Kurdish troops over the weekend. Kurdish forces, known as the Peshmerga, say they are planning a counter-attack. (Read more)
- Father, we pray that all measures will be used against ISIS to stop them from taking more territory and harming innocent people. We intercede over this crisis. We pray ISIS will be pushed back and they are forced to dismantle.
- "Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights." (Deuteronomy 33:29)
7. NATO says Russia could be poised to invade Ukraine - Reuters
Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border and could use the pretext of a humanitarian or peace-keeping mission to invade, NATO said on Wednesday. Stating the conflict in Ukraine was fueled by Russia, NATO said in a statement that the troop build-up had further escalated "a dangerous situation".
"We're not going to guess what's on Russia's mind, but we can see what Russia is doing on the ground - and that is of great concern. Russia has amassed around 20,000 combat-ready troops on Ukraine's eastern border," NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in an emailed statement. (Read more)
- Father God, we continue to lift up this troubled part of the world to you, asking for your SHALOM to descend upon all parties involved, and for an easing of the tensions there. We ask that You would enter into this realm, and take control of the very minds and hearts of all involved. May each one know Your peace, and then find Your wisdom to resolve this complicated issue. We ask in Jesus' Name, amen.
- " . . . pray without ceasing . . ." (I Thess. 5:17)
8. Slain Border Patrol Agent's Blood 'On Hands of Congress and President,' Says Union - Breitbart
EL PASO, Texas - The murder of an off-duty Border Patrol agent in front of his entire family has sparked outrage within the Border Patrol community. The murder occurred at the hands of illegal aliens - one of whom had been deported four times prior - according to authorities, near the town of Santa Monica, Texas. The slain agent was fishing with his mother, father, wife, and two kids approximately 40 miles inside the U.S. when the pair of illegal aliens allegedly targeted them for armed robbery. The agent took action to defend his family before being shot dead. The murder occurred on Sunday, August 3, 2014.
Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the Local 3307 National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), spoke with Breitbart Texas and said, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our agents. We are outraged that illegal aliens entered our nation and targeted a family while they enjoyed time together fishing. Agent Javier Vega fought to defend his mother, his father, his wife, and his children. It is saddening that Agent Vega was killed by illegal aliens in front of his entire family. These criminals should not have been on U.S. soil."
Vice President Cabrera continued, "This is just sickening that a family was targeted while they were fishing. A wife had to witness her husband being killed. Children had to witness their father being killed. A mother and father had to witness their child being killed. What these illegal aliens did is just heart wrenching and sickening. The man was brutally taken from his loved ones." (Read more)
- Lord God, Mr. Cabrera is right: there is no excuse for this savagery on our land -- savagery committed by illegal aliens. Abba Father, we ask You to comfort those who mourn tonight, and to bring about justice on their behalf. Lord God, let the killing stop. We ask in Jesus' Name, amen.
- "This far and no further . . ." (Job 38:10)
9. CDC Issues Highest Emergency Alert Amid Ebola Outbreak - NBC News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday ramped up its response to the expanding Ebola outbreak, a move that frees up hundreds of employees and signals the agency sees the health emergency as a potentially long and serious one.
The CDC's "level 1 activation" is reserved for the most serious public health emergencies, and the agency said the move was appropriate considering the outbreak's "potential to affect many lives." The CDC took a similar move in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and again in 2009 during the bird-flu threat.
The Ebola outbreak is believed to have killed 932 people in the African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Guinea. Two American aid workers sickened by the disease were flown back to the U.S. for treatment at a medical facility in Atlanta. (Read more)
- Lord God, we are encouraged by the news that the two missionaries are showing some improvement now; and that international airline carriers have suspended flights into the nations of West Africa. We also saw news today of the development of a possible vaccine to combat this pestilence. Lord God, we give this matter fully into Your hands, asking only for Your protection from the threat of this end-time plague. In Your Name, amen.
- Prayer Point: Please lift up this virus, praying in the spirit . . . thank you. "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." (I Corinthians 14:15)
10. Russian Gang Amasses Over a Billion Internet Passwords - New York Times
A Russian crime ring has amassed the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials, including 1.2 billion user name and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses, security researchers say. The records, discovered by Hold Security, a firm in Milwaukee, include confidential material gathered from 420,000 websites, including household names, and small Internet sites. (Read more)
- Father God, we thank You that You are Lord of heaven and earth. We bring this cyberspace crisis before Your Throne of Grace, and we lay this matter at Your feet. We ask You, dear Lord, to guide our people with wisdom, to quickly change our passwords and to take any other necessary steps to protect our information online. We ask this in Your Name, amen.
- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you." (Psalm 32:8)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:11)
1. Expert Says Terror Tunnels a Threat in the Galilee - Israel National News
For a long time he spoke to every official, every minister, and every IDF Chief of Staff over the threat of terror tunnels - in Gaza and elsewhere - but the system preferred to silence him. Now, Geologist and res. Col. Yossi Langotsky speaks to Arutz Sheva for the first time since Operation Protective Edge began 28 days ago about his perspective on the current conflict, and on how war tunnels may continue to threaten Israel despite the operation.
Terror tunnels along the Lebanese border 'a possibility'
Langotsky added that terror tunnels still may be a threat in the Galilee, near the border with Lebanon. During his stint as advisor on terror tunnels, the Col. met with then-Northern Command Chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, who was attentive to the information and statistics Longotsky presented him regarding the tunnels and agreed on the threat level - but was later transferred to a different role and was unable to follow up on the recommendations. The new commander, Langotsky said, never addressed the problem, and the IDF silenced his concerns. "I had tortured the system [over the issue] and they preferred to keep me quiet," he said. (Read more here)
2. Ex-Defense Minister Mofaz: Now, Look for Hezbollah's Tunnels - Israel National News
Former defense minister, MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said Wednesday that the IDF was aware of the tunnel threat from Gaza before Operation Protective Edge was launched, but not of its extent. "It is time to check the northern border, so that we do not underestimate matters there as well," he told IDF Radio. He was referring to tunnels that Hezbollah is believed to have dug into northern Israel. "The combat echelon and the IDF's field commanders fought on the ground and saved us with their courage this time," Mofaz added. "They covered for mistakes or underestimations in other echelons, and this underestimation needs to be analyzed meticulously and fixed, with an eye to the future." (Read more here)
- Please join us in praying for the Lord to expose the location of every single terror tunnel that enters under the borders of Israel, and into Israel, so that they would be located and destroyed by the IDF.
- "A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them." (Proverbs 27:12)
> > > Prayer submitted by friends in Australia. Thank you!
3. Ceasefire Appears to Be Holding, Details Emerge as Journalists Leave Gaza - Worthy News
As journalists left the Gaza Strip more details emerged as television crews showed detailed footage of how Hamas assembled rockets and then fired them from residential areas just before a 72-hour ceasefire went into effect. Meanwhile, Israel-U.S. relations have hit a new low after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry haven't spoken since their short phone conversation last week was disconnected due to "communications problems". Lastly, Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said the U.S. and E.U. must "recognize" Hamas as a "legitimate political actor" in order to bring peace to the region. (Read more and view videos here)
4. Cabinet told purging Gaza of terror would take 5 years, cost hundreds of soldiers' lives - Times of Israel
The IDF last week presented an assessment of a possible reoccupation of the Gaza Strip to the security cabinet, saying that the cost of reestablishing Israeli control over the entire territory would be hundreds of soldiers' lives, endangering peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and tens of billions of shekels per year, Channel 2 reported Tuesday night. (Read more)
5. IDF troops coming out of Gaza: We could've done more - Ynet News
IDF troops, who were highly motivated during the fighting in Operation Protective Edge, expressed disappointment as the army finished withdrawing its forces from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning. "We could've done more," some of them said. (Read more)
6. Operation Protective Edge by numbers - Jerusalem Post
A total of 4,762 targets in Gaza were struck by the IDF during the course of the war, the IDF said on Tuesday, as a 72-hour pause in fighting went into effect and was holding, and an Israeli delegation was in Cairo for cease-fire talks with Palestinian factions.
The targets included 1,678 rocket launchers and storage facilities, 191 rocket production facilities, and 997 command and control centers. According to the IDF's Spokesperson's Office, 939 targets were hit as part of the air force's close support for ground forces. (Read more)
7. Israel Concerned Hezbollah Building Terror Tunnels - Washington Free Beacon
Even before it finished defusing the tunnel threat from the Gaza Strip Monday with the detonation of the last of 31 Hamas attack tunnels, the Israeli army began shifting its attention to the possibility of a similar threat from Hezbollah along the border with Lebanon. (Read more)
8. The Hannibal Directive - Washington Free Beacon
The Israeli army calls it the Hannibal Directive. If soldiers see a comrade being taken prisoner they are to fire to prevent, "at all costs," his captors getting away with him-even if it means hitting the Israeli captive himself.
The controversial directive has been in effect 27 years, but except for the case of Gilad Shalit-a soldier whose captors escaped with him eight years ago despite being fired upon during the kidnapping-it is not known to have been implemented until last Friday. (Read more)
9. Gantz: Residents of the Gaza-border region can return to their homes - Jerusalem Post
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Wednesday that Israelis from the Gaza-border region of the South, who fled the war with Hamas due to threats from tunnels and continuous Hamas mortar and rocket attacks, can now go home.
"I am convinced that the residents of the Gaza-border communities can return to their homes, grow their fields, and return to a good and quality life here," Gantz said. "The IDF isn't going anywhere. We'll stay to defend. We'll remain deployed, looking for the next challenges. We'll continue to develop security in this area," the chief of staff added.
"Indeed, there is a hot summer here. The fall will come after it, and the rain will wash away the dust of tanks. The fields will turn green . . . there will be stability here for many years to come," he stated. "We're not done. The military is prepared for anything. Should future events arise, we will know how to respond," said Gantz. (Read more)
10. Pastors in Israel: We Support Your Right to Defeat Hamas - Washington Free Beacon
Fifty-one pastors from every U.S. state and D.C. touched down in Israel early Tuesday for an unprecedented last minute solidarity mission aimed at expressing their support for the Jewish state's right to defend itself from the terror group Hamas, a sentiment that some say is not shared in the White House. (Read more)
11. Red Cross in Gaza: Rebuilding will take years - Ynet News
In an exclusive interview with Ynet, Red Cross engineer Sara Badiei said that rebuilding infrastructure critical to providing clean water and electricity would take years. (Read more)
12. BULLETS of INTERCESSION: August 5, 2014 - CHPP
To read today's Bullets, please go here.
13. Carter's Back - Gary Bauer
Once again as a Christian I find myself embarrassed by the moral blindness and anti-Semitism of former President Jimmy Carter. Yes you read that right - anti-Semitism. Carter is not merely a critic of Israel's government and foreign policy. His critique of the Middle East conflict is so twisted that a rational person can only conclude that his heart is infected with Jew-hatred.
The latest evidence is Carter's embrace this week of Hamas as a "legitimate political actor," while lambasting Israel's military campaign in Gaza. Never mind the 3,000 or more missiles Hamas fired at civilian targets in Israel. Never mind the underground tunnel system built for the purpose of launching a surprise attack on Israeli neighborhoods that could have killed thousands of defenseless Israelis. Never mind the Hamas Charter of raw hate claiming not only the land of Israel but the whole world for Islam.
In the last three weeks even Israel critics have said Hamas cannot be a "partner" for peace. They are our era's Nazis. But their murderous plans have now been exposed. Jimmy Carter runs toward them, embraces them and demands America reward them with recognition. Shame, Mr. Carter. Shame.
14. Israel's Right To Exist - Gary Bauer
Israel is not fighting the equivalent of our wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. Other than on 9/11, the US population has not faced large-scale, daily attacks by jihadists on our homeland. Israel is facing that. Daily for weeks 70% of the Israeli people have run into bomb shelters because of Hamas rocket attacks. Imagine Al Qaeda firing rockets into the U.S. from Mexico and Canada requiring 70% of us, more than 200 million people, to run into shelters. Imagine if our military discovered miles of tunnels reaching deep into our country packed with weapons and explosives, and if jihadists were using those tunnels to launch surprise attacks on US border neighborhoods. While the US would try to avoid civilian casualties, we would not let anyone stop us from doing what had to be done to restore normal lives for our citizens. How dare we insist that Israel follow a set of rules that we would not adhere to if our very existence were in jeopardy.
Israel is facing an existential threat, meaning a threat to its very existence. Many at the UN who are pointing their fingers at Israel would not shed a single tear if its enemies overwhelmed it and carried out a second Holocaust.
The west must stand with Israel today or risk facing the growing Jihadists forces alone tomorrow.
15. The Ghost Soldiers Of Hamas - Gary Bauer
Last week I wrote about how every media report out of Gaza showed images of heavily-armed Israeli troops juxtaposed with scenes of civilians suffering in Gaza. Where was Hamas? Why did we never see the "holy warriors" who have declared that their goal is the complete destruction of Israel. Now in the 2nd day of the Gazan truce, the facts are slowly leaking out. Proof is growing that the reporters covering the conflict were subject to intimidation and threats on their lives if they did not follow the Hamas propaganda line.
Cliff May, Director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has published an outstanding exposé column on this in the Washington Times. You can link to it here.
Covering a war zone is incredibly dangerous. Nonetheless, members of the media have an obligation to inform the public of the threats they were dealing with. If they feared for their lives they should have exited Gaza rather than allow themselves to be turned into propagandists for Hamas.
The Daily Jot
Jimmy Carter sides with the terrorists
The Weekly Standard reports that former President Jimmy Carter has weighed in on the Israeli defense of its citizens from terrorist attacks emanating from Gaza. In predictable fashion, Carter has sided with the terrorist group Hamas. He lays the blame squarely on Israel for not recognizing the historical peace overture made by Hamas in April when it joined the Palestinian Authority. He said that Israel refused to "appreciate" the "major concession" made by Hamas to recognize the new Palestinian government formed by the Hamas-Fatah "reconciliation." The facilitator of modern terrorism--Nobel Peace Prize recipient Carter--continues to view the world through a very disturbing and apocalyptic lens.
Carter wrote on ForeignPolicy.com: "This tragedy results from the deliberate obstruction of a promising move toward peace in the region, when a reconciliation agreement among the Palestinian factions was announced in April. This was a major concession by Hamas, in opening Gaza to joint control under a technocratic government that did not include any Hamas members. The new government also pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet comprised of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia: nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and adherence to past agreements. Tragically, Israel rejected this opportunity for peace and has succeeded in preventing the new government's deployment in Gaza."
Lacking truth is the basis of Carter's argument--that the new government pledged to adopt the three basic principles demanded by the Middle East Quartet of recognition of Israel, nonviolence, and adherence to past agreements. The truth that Carter misses is that Hamas refused to recognize Israel, had continued missile attacks on Israeli citizens and paid little to no attention to any past agreements unless it was the UN mandate that Israel give up its land to pre-1967 borders. If you remember, Carter played a major role in deposing the Shah of Iran, which led to the establishment of the radical Ayatollah terrorist-sponsoring government in Iran. Carter is a long time apologist for the Arabs.
Many are confused about Israel. For clarity, go to the Bible. There is a long history that traces back to Isaac and Ishmael. The entire region is being contested even to this day for control over God's covenant with Isaac through Abraham. Jerusalem and Israel are not some esoteric allegory. They are physical and the people are as real today as they were 5,000 years ago. Genesis 17:20-21 says, "And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly: twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year." That's why Carter and his ilk are on the wrong side.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Update: Gay Marriage
Three States Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Decisions to U.S. Supreme Court
"My responsibility is to defend the state Constitution and its amendments as Utah citizens have enacted them," he said in a statement. "We recognize this litigation has caused uncertainty and disruption and have accordingly tried to expedite its resolution as quickly as possible by filing our petition a full month-and-a-half before its September 23rd due date."
Virginia Attorney General Mike Herring announced later on Tuesday that he would ask the high court to hear Virginia's marriage case. And today, ADF attorneys - representing an Oklahoma county clerk - asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state constitutional amendment. Both states saw their constitutional marriage amendments struck down - in separate rulings - by federal courts in July.
The District of Columbia and 19 states have redefined marriage either by court order or legislation.
All states in the country have had their marriage law or amendment challenged. Appeals are pending in 14 of these cases. Focus on the Family Judicial Analyst Bruce Hausknecht said we'll eventually see more states appeal marriage decisions to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We'll see more eventually, but Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia are at the Supreme Court now, and may be the ones from which the Court selects," he said. "The nearest appellate court decision, probably from the 6th Circuit, will be weeks or even months behind. And it may be one of those situations, similar to the HHS mandate cases, where a few cases hit the Court, and every other case just stands still while the court addresses the constitutional question."
As for Utah, the state welcomes the Supreme Court merits decision, Reyes said.
"All Utah citizens will benefit," he explained, "when the Supreme Court provides clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage."
(Source: CitizenLink) Read more.
New Yorkers Fight Back
New Yorkers Fight Back for Israel:
Don't Mess with the Diamond District!
Last Sunday, a huge pro-Palestinian rally was held in the midst of New York City.
What happened next was not in the original plan . . .
To see how New Yorkers responded to this event, go here and watch this video with JOY!
UK: Islam Takes a Hit!
UK: HSBC Shuts Down Islamist Bank Accounts
In late July, HSBC, a British multinational bank, closed the bank accounts of Anas Al-Tikriti, a prominent British Islamist activist, and his family. HSBC also closed down the bank accounts of the Cordoba Foundation, of which Tikriti is the Director, and the Finsbury Park Mosque. In response to enquiries, the bank simply stated that to continue providing services would be outside the bank's "risk appetite."
This latest round of bank account closures has come as a surprise to counter-terrorism experts and much of the media, who note that the Cordoba Foundation and the Finsbury Park Mosque have enjoyed strong political support in the past.
Just a few weeks previously, HSBC also closed the accounts of the Ummah Welfare Trust, a leading British Islamist charity that has previously partnered with the Al Salah Islamic Association, described by the U.S. Treasury Department as "one of the largest and best-funded Hamas charitable organisations in the Palestinian territories." Senior Hamas officials have confirmed that Al Salah is "identified with us."
Anas Al-Tikriti, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain, had his bank account, along with that of his wife and two children, shut down by HSBC. Tikriti has been described as "one of the shrewdest UK-based Brotherhood activists . . . [who] has sought to persuade Western governments that they should fund Brotherhood groups as moderate alternatives to al-Qaeda."
(Gatestone Institute) Read more here.
Hobby Lobby Sequel
Obama's Rules of Enragement
When the Obama administration talks about a mandate "accommodation," you can be sure the only thing they're accommodating is their radical agenda. A month after the Supreme Court gave ObamaCare one of its biggest black eyes, the President's team is back at the drawing board, desperate to find a new way to force family businesses and nonprofits to violate their pro-life convictions.
After three years of legal wrangling over the HHS mandate, the Supreme Court's opinion in the Hobby Lobby-Conestoga Wood case was supposed to settle the matter, ruling in favor of religious freedom and against the heavy hand of government. Unfortunately, it looks like the only opinion the Obama administration is interested in is its own. In the weeks since the decision came down, the President's team has poured its energy into new ways to avoid the Court's opt-out for companies with moral objections to pills that can end or prevent a pregnancy. In the past, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered a placebo, an "accommodation" for religious groups that used fancy accounting gimmicks to hide the reality that these nonprofits were still paying for drugs that violated their beliefs -- just through an intermediary. . .
(Family Research Council) Read more here.
Congress in Recess
10 Things to Ask Your Representative over the August Recess . . .
The House and Senate may be taking a break, but that doesn't mean you should! Congress may not be in session, but plenty of local town halls will be. For the next five weeks, members will be crisscrossing their districts before the election, anxious -- for once -- to hear their constituents' feedback. It's a rare window of opportunity for voters to share their concerns and know that their representatives are listening. Asking questions at these public forums is a great way for you to help your elected leaders understand the issues that matter to you and your family.
Visit House.gov and Senate.gov to find out who your members of Congress are, and then check out their websites for a listing of events in your area. At FRC, we've put together a guide of top 10 issues that you can raise on topics related to life, marriage, and religious liberty. Each day, we'll include a few questions you can ask your congressman, like these:
1. Despite promises that health care plans under Obamacare would have a clear listing of services included, very few plans identify whether or not they include elective abortion coverage. This concerns me as an American who has moral objections to paying for abortion. Do you support requiring health care plans under Obamacare to disclose whether or not they include abortion coverage?
2. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would create new economic and litigation burdens for employers at the same time it would severely curtail the religious freedom of family business owners and religious institutions. Please oppose ENDA when Congress reconvenes and in the Lame Duck.
For the complete list of 10 questions, check out FRC.org. (Family Research Council)
Ebola and the CDC
Ebola and the CDC:
Is It Just Me Or . . .
For example, I find it curious that, in all the interviews that I've seen with CDC spokesmen, not one questioner has asked the question that has repeatedly come to my mind: Why should we trust your experts?
In the last three months, the CDC has been caught mishandling three different pathogens-anthrax, avian flu and small pox. In the case of small pox, the deadly virus was stored in vials and misplaced for decades.
That's not very reassuring. What's more, viruses can mutate. Why hasn't anyone asked why we should be sure the Ebola virus won't mutate and become airborne? Out of curiosity, I googled "could Ebola become airborne" and received hundreds of articles arguing that it could, including a 2012 piece suggesting that it may already be airborne between animals.
Here's another problem: Many studies have found that in spite of all precautions medical personnel are told to follow in regards to washing their hands, not using their cell phones in the operating room, etc., a depressingly large number don't follow the rules. This unhygienic behavior is a major contributor to the spread of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
It has been suggested that flights from certain West African countries be cancelled until the outbreak is controlled. Again, we have been assured by the experts that this is not necessary. Several CDC spokesmen have pointed out that people arriving from those countries are monitored closely upon arriving in the U.S. That sounds like a good idea, but can we really feel good about the government being able to monitor airport arrivals when everyone knows it cannot monitor arrivals on the southern border?
I understand that the CDC doesn't want to spread rumors that might cause panic. But the U.S. government's involvement in healthcare in recent years hardly makes me confident that it will be able to resolve this crisis. (Gary Bauer; excerpt)
Mideast Prayer Alert
International Prayer Alert for the Christians
in the Middle East
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Body of Christ worldwide,
As you all are following what's happening in the Middle East lately, there is an unleashing of a spirit of slaughtering of God's people in Iraq, and many other geographical areas as well, a sword is passing in this area.
Together with many Christians around the world, we felt the need to pray and fast to stop these blood thirsty demons who march there, and ask for the Prince of Peace to reign over the Middle East.
The urgency of the hour, comes not only from the escalating numbers of martyrs, and innocent people"s lives taken down but as well from the warning of the Holy Spirit to the Church in the Middle East as well as in the rest of the world (Esther 4:13& 14). If we don't stand, it will reach many other nations soon, but if we do stand in the gap, THE LORD WILL USHER A NEW ERA OF HARVEST, there is a GOLDEN WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY during the next 2 weeks to stop this, so lets use it. . .
Psalm 2 speaks of plans plotted by the enemy against the Messiah and His people, but the Lord will give us the nations as our inheritance.
Shall we cry "Lord rend the heavens and come down" Isa 64:1-4 and put an end to that season . . .
Lets all unite for 5 minutes prayer Sunday August 10 & 17, all the churches world wide, for the oppressed in the Middle East. You will not change your programs but you will just take 5 minutes in focused prayers for the Middle East.
As well, unite all of us in FASTING & PRAYING WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13.
May the Lord have mercy on us and bring in a new season of great harvest globally.
Please, send this email to all your networks and let's pray.
In Jesus' mighty name;
Chairman, International Prayer Council
International Facilitator, World Prayer Assembly 2012
Report from IPC
Report from International Prayer Connections:
A Monthly Journal to Guide Intercession for Our World
To read this report from the International Prayer Council, including our Press Release about our recent WWI Conference Call, please go here.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Miracle Confirmed by Iron Dome Commander: God Moved Missile We Couldn't Hit
"I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea." -Iron Dome Battery Commander
(Israel)-Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system has been wildly successful during the current Gaza war, but on occasion it can and does miss incoming terrorist rockets.
One would think that the 10 percent or so of Hamas rockets predicted by Iron Dome's radars to hit populated areas that are not intercepted would still cause significant Israeli casualties. But somehow, they don't.
An earlier, unconfirmed report floating around the Internet had a Gaza resident attributing the lack of Hamas accuracy to Israel's God moving the rockets off-course to protect His people.
"We do aim [our rockets], but their God changes their path in mid-air," a Hamas commander was said to have told someone who wondered why Gaza-based militants can't seem to hit their targets.
Whether or not that report is [true], an Iron Dome operator whose battery failed three times to down an incoming missile headed toward Tel Aviv last week, said the overall assessment is [accurate].
In remarks relayed to an Israel news site (Hebrew), the Iron Dome battery commander recalled:
"A missile was fired from Gaza. Iron Dome precisely calculated [its trajectory]. We know where these missiles are going to land down to a radius of 200 meters. This particular missile was going to hit either the Azrieli Towers, the Kirya (Israel's equivalent of the Pentagon) or [a central Tel Aviv railway station]. Hundreds could have died.
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders
The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has reached 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and is maneuvering to go into orbit around the comet's core. On approach, Rosetta's OSIRIS camera took this stunning picture from a distance of only 130 km.
The image clearly shows a range of features including boulders, craters and steep cliffs. As the ESA science team noted this morning, "choosing a landing site will not be easy." More close-up shots may be found here.
Rosetta has reached the comet, but it is not in orbit yet. As this video shows, the spacecraft will spend the next month maneuvering closer and closer to the comet's core. When Rosetta dscends to within about 30 km of the surface in early September, the comet's weak gravity will be able to capture the spacecraft into a final orbit.
A full replay of today's historic event marking Rosetta's arrival at 67P is now available here.
"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."
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Kari Jobe - "Forever"
Today's Birthday on the Hill
Almost every day of the year, a member of Congress or a Senator is celebrating a birthday. Let's lift up these men and women, day by day in prayer on their special day, that God might bless them and show them His love for each one. Indeed, let's move together in obedience to the Lord's mandate in I Timothy 2:1-4. It is written:
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
Today's Birthday Greeting goes to:
Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
(Source: Bible Pathways Ministries. www.biblepathway.org)