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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
"Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!" (Mark 11:9)
> > > We dedicate this edition of the Daily Brief
to Indiana Governor Mike Pence.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision . . . (Joel 3:14)
The Daily Brief
1. Pence vows to 'fix' religious freedom law, ensure 'no license to discriminate'- Fox News
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, whose state is under fire over the passage of a religious freedom law that critics say could allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation, told Fox News on Tuesday that he and legislative leaders plan to clarify the policy in the coming days.
"I abhor discrimination," the Republican governor told Fox News.
Pence said he stands by the law and there was never any intent to create a "license to discriminate." But, acknowledging the furor over the policy, he said: "We'll clarify that in the days ahead, and we'll fix this and move forward." (Read more)
- Father, give Words to Governor Mike Pence to clarify this law and make clear it does not permit discrimination. Give us -Your people - the scriptures and the spirit to discuss the Indiana law and show that homosexuality and skin color are not the same; that people need to be educated on scripture; and that God wishes no man to perish.
- "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness . . ." (2 Timothy 3:16)
2. NY Assembly Passes Abortion Bill Allowing Shooting 3rd Trimester Babies Through the Heart With Poison - Life News
The New York State Assembly voted a resounding 94-49 Wednesday to approve a bill that would allow third trimester abortions using procedures such as a shot of poison to the baby's heart by medical professionals who won't necessarily be doctors. (Read more)
- Father, have mercy upon America! This vote by the New York State Assembly is an abomination. Father, we cry out that this Bill be stopped and reversed. In Jesus Name.
- "And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger." (2 Kings 17:17)
3. White House issues antibiotic plan to fight superbugs - UPI
The White House unveiled an initiative Friday to combat the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with a series of measures that will crack down on over-use and over-prescription of antibiotics at farms and hospitals.
The five-year, $1.2 billion plan is aimed at quelling drug resistance, responsible for an estimated 23,000 deaths and two million illnesses a year in the United States. In part, the Obama administration's plan calls for ending the widespread use of antibiotics in animals raised for food, which is partially to blame for the growing U.S. antibiotic resistance.
Health officials hope the plan will slow the spread of so-called "superbugs" that include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and CRE, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.
"The emergence of drug resistance in bacteria is undermining the effectiveness of current antibiotics and our ability to treat and prevent disease," the White House said. "Antibiotic resistance also limits our ability to perform a range of modern medical procedures, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and organ transplants." (Read more)
- Lord God, we thank You that this effort is being made to help protect our people from these "superbugs." We ask that these measures be applied as intended, with no "hidden agenda" buried within its parameters. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "Be merciful to me, O God; be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by." (Psalm 57:1)
4. First shoe drops for Washington florist under fire for faith - WND
The first shoe dropped Friday for Washington state florist Barronelle Stutzman, who has been convicted by the state in a case brought by the ACLU of discrimination for operating her business according to her Christian faith.
A judge in the state, Alex Ekstrom, announced the owner of Arlene's Flowers in Richland, Washington, must pay $1,001 to the state prosecutors who charged her with discrimination for refusing to use her talents to promote same-sex "marriage."
But the Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Stutzman warned that the precedent, not the dollar figure, is the problem. Kristen Waggoner, ADF senior counsel, said the award to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson boils down to a government threat to Christians: "Surrender your religious liberty and free speech rights, or face personal and professional ruin." (Read more)
- Abba Father, this fine is not as bad as was threatened, but in the long term destructive it sets a precedent for all true believers in You to be under attack and to adhere to 'forced conformity and agreement' to beliefs that are contrary to Your Word. Have mercy and forgive us, Father! This lady is still under pressure to provide her future services for actions which are against her Christian beliefs. We ask You to rise up and to shut down this travesty, praying this in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever?" (Psalm 74:10 NKJV)
5. NBC's Ann Curry Compares Conservatives in U.S. to Skeptical Iranian Leaders Ahead of Deadline - Newsbusters
While reporting on Monday's NBC Nightly News with the latest from the Iranian side of the international talks in Switzerland over their nuclear program, Ann Curry became yet another member of the liberal media in smearing U.S. conservatives by likening them to radical hardliners in Iran's Islamic regime. (Read more)
- Father, ESPECIALLY THIS WEEK, we just say a simple prayer for Ann Curry and others who hold this view against conservatives:
- Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)
6. Benghazi committee seeks 'transcribed' interview with Clinton over deleted records - Fox News
Sets deadline for May 1
The congressional committee probing the Benghazi attacks has formally requested that Hillary Clinton appear for an interview on her use of a personal email and server for official business while secretary of state, after learning the server had been wiped "clean."
Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., made the request in a letter sent Tuesday to Clinton's lawyer. Gowdy asked that Clinton agree to a "transcribed" interview -- and repeated a March 16 request for her to surrender her server so it can be examined by the State Department's inspector general.
"This committee is left with no alternative but to request Secretary Clinton appear before this committee for a transcribed interview to better understand decisions the secretary made relevant to the creation, maintenance, retention, and ultimately deletion of public records," Gowdy wrote to Clinton attorney David Kendall on Tuesday. (Read more)
- Lord God, we continue to lift this matter before You in prayer. We thank You for the tenacity of Rep. Trey Gowdy, who will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of the truth of why these emails are missing . . . and of the information they contained. We ask Your hand of protection to rest upon all who are investigating this issue, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
7. Obama installing Islam leaders while Michelle and Susan Rice provide cover? - CanadaFreePress
Machiavelli couldn't have done any better than Michelle Obama and Susan Rice at the ready to launch diversionary publicity stunts that takes the spotlight off Obama when he needs it most. Problem is that while Michelle Obama and Susan Rice were running away with the social network's mega publicity, in diversionary tactics keeping his work in the dark, Barack Hussein Obama was working to replace foreign Christian leaders with fully-fledged Caliphate-seeking Islamists.
Obama's been on the trail of replacing Christian leaders with Islamic ones before he became president, starting with Kenya where he actively campaigned to elect Islamic defender Raila Odinga in 2007. Millions revolted in Egypt when Obama's so called Arab Spring led to the election of Muslim Brotherhood big gun Mohamed Morsi, and the subsequent election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been the largest setback, next to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's landslide victory to date.
No one paid Obama and his Marxist minions any attention when they backed Aassane Quattara against Christian challenger Laurent Gbagbo in the Ivory Coast election back in 2011. Obama congratulated Quattara on his election "victory" even though his troops slaughtered 1,000 Christians in a post-election bloodbath, warning Gbagbo to give up power. (Read more)
- Abba Father, we bring this extremely dangerous involvement in other nation's elections before You, asking that what is being under reported or ignored by the mainstream media be fully exposed for what it is. What is being done is so dangerous for all the world and we desperately need You alone to intervene and to shut down all these devious actions and interventions. We pray this in the Name of Jesus and under His Shed Blood, Amen and Amen.
- "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" (Luke 9:25 NKJV)
8. Boehner accuses Obama of 'reprehensible animosity' toward Netanyahu - Times of Israel
US House speaker, gearing up for trip to Jerusalem, blasts administration for pressure on PM, backs his concerns over Palestinian statehood. (Read more)
- We give thanks to You, Father, for this leader of our House of Representatives who will take a strong stand in favor of Netanyahu and his plans for his country. We want Israel to know that the citizens of the United States support them and that we are praying for those of our leaders who have yet to give honor to God's chosen people. Bless Speaker Boehner for his strong stand against criticisms of the Prime Minister and Israel.
- "Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes." (Psalms 119:23)
9. Netanyahu: 11th-hour Iran talks reward 'aggression' - Times of Israel
As officials convene to hammer out a nuclear deal, prime minister vows to 'continue to act against every threat' (Read more)
- Dear Lord, we share Prime Minister Netanyahu's concerns about this agreement being one that has rushed to be formulated and has ignored the fact that Iran has supported rebels in Yemen who are taking over the government there. We pray for You to be in the very midst of these negotiations to protect Israel and other countries who are not so destruction and control minded.
- "They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil." (Psalms 36:4)
10. Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says - Times of Israel
rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, as Iranian and Western officials in Lausanne, Switzerland were rushing to reach a framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline.
"After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East," Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting, one of the last for his outgoing government. "The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is dangerous for mankind and must be stopped." (Read more)
- Precious Lord, we pray that the negotiators in Switzerland will heed the wisdom of this leader of the only democracy in the Middle East. We pray that You would intervene in the affairs of these men who are not honoring You and the land of Israel so that Your people are not in an even more vulnerable situation than they already are from a nuclear standpoint. In the powerful name of Jesus, we decree that Iran will not be able to produce nuclear weapons and that the negotiators will see through all dishonesty.
- "Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them anymore, as at the beginning." (1 Chronicles 17:9)
The Middle East in Focus
"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)
1. Netanyahu: Deal will leave Iran 'less than a year' from bomb - Times of Israel
Iran would be less than a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon if its emerging deal with world powers is signed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, as talks between Iran and the US-led group of countries went down to the wire in Switzerland.
The prime minister, speaking at a toast after the swearing-in of members of the 20th Knesset, said the new parliament's "primary mission" is "to ensure the security of Israel."
Netanyahu won a landslide victory in the March 17 elections, taking 30 of the Knesset's 120 seats and beating out the rival Zionist Union by six seats. He was tapped last week by President Reuven Rivlin to assemble a governing coalition, a process that will likely yield a right-wing government.
Netanyahu said that while "I greatly appreciate the brave covenant" between Israel and the US, the two countries disagree over how to thwart Iran. "When it comes to an existential threat, Israel must stand up for itself," he said. (Read more)
2. Be 'very worried' about Iran deal, says ex-Shin Bet head - TImes of Israel
Former head of the Shin Bet security agency said Tuesday that Israel has "good reasons to be worried, even very worried" about a potential nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers known as the P5+1.
Avi Dichter, who has also served as public security minister and who is re-entering Knesset Tuesday as a member of the Likud party, told the Walla news site that the agreement would effectively make Iran a nuclear threshold state. He also said Israel would launch a military strike if necessary.
Dichter made his comments before news came out Tuesday that Tehran and the P5+1 were preparing to issue a general statement agreeing to continue negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June, according to AP. (Read more)
3. John Kerry Says Nuclear Deal With Iran is Possible: "If Allah Wills It" - The Gateway Pundit
John Kerry told Washington Post reporter Laura Rozen this weekend that a nuclear deal with Iran is possible, "Inshallah."
Friend of colleague ran into @JohnKerry at chocolate shop tdy. She said friends in #Iran are looking forward to deal. He said 'inshallah' (Read more)
4. West hopes for a breakthrough as deadline arrives with Iran - Jerusalem Post
A pivotal deadline has arrived for diplomats on the shores of Lake Geneva with no clear breakthrough in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.
After two years of intensive negotiations with the United States, and over a decade of talks with Europe, Iran is facing crucial decisions over its future, Western negotiators declared in Lausanne.
The foreign ministers of Germany, France, China and Britain expressed hope that the moment might produce a historic outcome, while the US remained cautious, and Russia's foreign minister left the country. (Read more)
5. Obama to dial back Israel critique after Jewish Dems push back - Times of Israel
Jewish Democratic lawmakers are reportedly calling on the White House to tone down its critique of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing the Obama administration of unfairly distributing blame for the impasse in peace efforts.
A dozen House Democrats met with deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes last week, according to Politico, where he was told President Barack Obama was seen as casting the blame for a lack of a diplomatic process with the Palestinians on Israel alone and offering no criticism of the Palestinians' conduct.
At the same time, a White House official indicated that Washington was satisfied it had conveyed its message in disparaging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's disavowal of the two-state solution, and would cool its criticism of Israeli policies until a new coalition was formed, according to the Politico report. (Read more)
6. 'Influx of advanced weapons flowing into Syria, Lebanon unprecedented,' navy source says - Jerusalem Post
Advanced weaponry, much of it supplied by Iran, is flowing into Syria and Lebanon, a senior Israel Navy source warned on Sunday.
The Navy is spending a large chunk of its operational time dealing with advanced weapon smuggling, according to the source, who added, "Such weapons pose a challenge to all Western navies in the area."
He said the northern front has become unified, and that Lebanon and Syria can not be viewed as separate entities anymore. (Read more)
7. Arab Leaders Warn of 'Explosion' on 'Land Day' Anniversary - Israel National News
Arab communal leaders in Israel have warned of an escalation of tensions with authorities Monday over what they termed the government's "discriminatory policies", during the annual "Land Day" demonstrations.
For Israeli Arabs and Palestinians these policies include so-called land "expropriations" in the Galilee and the Negev, though Israel notes that these lands were taken over by authorities for security purposes, and were never actually legally owned by the Arab claimants.
Land Day commemorates the initial government takeovers which were first announced in 1976. During ensuing riots and clashes with Israeli security forces, a number of Arab rioters were killed.
Speaking about the March 30 remembrance day, Chairman of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab citizens of Israel, Muhammad Zeidan, claimed that Israel was "confiscating" land from Arabs in the Negev. Claims that Israel is "seizing" land from Bedouins in the south are often made by anti-Israel activists, as scores of illegal Arab settlements spring up in the area. In fact, numerous reports have debunked those claims, particularly given that the settlements in question have only sprung up over the last several years. (Read more)
8. 'Iran is placing guided warheads on Hezbollah rockets' - Jerusalem Post
Iran is placing guided warheads on its rockets and smuggling them to Hezbollah in Lebanon, a senior Defense Ministry official involved in preparing Israeli air defenses said Tuesday.
Speaking at the Israel Air and Missile Defense Conference in Herzliya, organized by the iHLS defense website and the Israel Missile Defense Association, Col. Aviram Hasson said Iran is converting Zilzal unguided rockets into accurate, guided M-600 projectiles by upgrading their warheads.
Hasson, who is in charge of upper tier missile defenses in the Defense Ministry's HOMA, which is a part of the Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, described Iran as a "train engine that is not stopping for a moment. It is manufacturing new and advanced ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. It is turning unguided rockets that had an accuracy range of kilometers into weapons that are accurate to within meters." (Read more)
The Daily Jot
Indiana's bold move
Indiana has enacted a law intended to prevent its state and local governments from imposing a "substantial burden" on a person's free exercise of religion. Immediately the homosexual lobby jumped on the media train and has condemned anything "Indiana" for its possible discriminatory action. Editorial commentators are claiming foul and comparing the law to those that prevented Blacks from voting, drinking water at public fountains and playing professional sports in the 1960s. One sportscaster said that discrimination against homosexuals was no different than the discrimination against Blacks, and no religion has a right to do that. They refuse to hear a differing point of view, saying 'religion is wrong. That's that.'
There is a point that these paragons of hysteria are missing. I know of no place in the Bible where it says that being of a certain color is an abomination or sin. There are several places in the Bible where homosexuality is considered an abomination by God. Leviticus 18:22 (repeated in 20:13) says, "You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination." The homosexual wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrha caused God to destroy the cities. As Jude 1:7 reminds: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
Romans Chapter 1:24-28 is very specific: "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due."
There are a lot of haters out there. And as Paul points out in Romans, they wish to "change the truth of God into a lie" because it doesn't fit their personal system of justice. Christians should not be forced to renounce our faith in any way. We also should not return hate for hate. 1 Peter 3:9 says not to render evil for evil or insult for insult, "but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing." See, we know the truth and the truth sets us free. Our job is to make disciples, but that's a lot harder than pointing a finger. Hopefully, this Jot will arm you with the scriptures and the spirit to discuss the Indiana law and show that homosexuality and skin color are not the same; that people need to be educated on scripture; and that God wishes no man to perish.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
FRC Supports Governor Pence
Family Research Council Statement on Governor Mike Pence's Proposed Change to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
WASHINGTON, DC -- Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to Indiana Governor Mike Pence's news conference this morning:
"The governor addressed the complete falsehood that RFRA is about denying people a seat in a restaurant or a room at a hotel. Christians would never deny people these services but being forced to participate in a ceremony that violates religious beliefs is completely un-American and uncivil. We must ensure that religious business owners are not forced by the government to participate in a same-sex ceremony. What RFRA is intended to do is to protect people from government discrimination. However, until we see the wording of his proposal, the impact on religious businesses and churches is unknown.
"RFRAs are not intended to nor have they ever been used to deny anyone non-religious goods or services. We support such a clarification making clear RFRA does not impact non-religious goods or services.
"The government shouldn't force religious businesses and churches to participate in wedding ceremonies contrary to their owners' beliefs. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control. We want to be sure that the measure proposed by the governor isn't used as a weapon to impose punishing fines on people like florist Barronelle Stutzman, bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, and wedding photographer Elaine Huguenin.
"Indiana has been the target of misinformation, and bullying in both the media and online, simply for joining 19 other states in aligning themselves with federal religious freedom law. What is unfolding in Indiana reveals the source of true intolerance: those who want the government to punish people for freely living according to their beliefs," concluded Perkins.
Pouncing On Pence
Pouncing On Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence held a press conference today to counter media misinformation about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Now the same media critics who distorted the law are suggesting that Pence is abandoning the law.
The left claimed that the law created a "license to discriminate." It did no such thing. The law simply provides a legal defense if a business owner, citing religious objections, refuses service to a customer and is charged with discrimination. There is no guarantee that the court would accept the defense. But the court is required to consider the claim of religious liberty and whether it reasonably applies.
Pence today indicated that he and the legislature want to clarify the media's misperceptions about the law. The left pounced, claiming that Pence was caving in. That is not true either. The governor has an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal, which you can read here. (Gary Bauer)
"The New Intolerance"
"The New Intolerance"
The Wall Street Journal editorial page has its own column today entitled "The New Intolerance." The Journal writes, "Indiana isn't targeting gays. Liberals are targeting religion."
Rush Limbaugh asked on his show today, "Why does the left hate religion so much?" The answer is easy. Faith in God commands the loyalty of millions of Americans over and above the left's demand that we worship big government.
In last 24 hours, Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio, former Sen. Rick Santorum and, to his credit, former Governor Jeb Bush have all expressed their support for the Indiana law, as has Reverend Franklin Graham.
I don't know how this battle will end, but you don't have to be a prophet to know this much: Religious freedom is the new battlefield in America and it goes to the heart of our founding -- the First Amendment right to practice your faith.
In recent days, several left-wing commentators have mocked conservatives, asking, "What's the big threat this law is supposed to address?" You have to be willfully ignorant of big government's massive onslaught against religious liberty to ask such a question.
Obamacare attempted to force Hobby Lobby to subsidize abortion and contraception. The Obama Administration is still trying to force nuns -- the Little Sisters of the Poor -- to promote abortion.
In recent years, we have seen bakers, florists, photographers, college administrators and high tech executives be fined or fired for their faith. The Supreme Court is likely to impose same-sex marriage on every state of the union. There will likely be unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for radically redefining marriage and the family.
All of this is happening because the demand for tolerance extends to everybody but those who believe in Judeo-Christian values. Men and women of faith are being demonized as bigots and criminals. (Gary Bauer)
Petition to Support Mike Pence
Family Research Council Releases a Petition
to Support Mike Pence
"Today We Are All Hoosiers!"
We can't take for granted our freedom of religion; the freedom to believe and to live according to those beliefs. Given to us by God, and recognized by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, religious freedom is crucial to the life of our democracy. If the government punishes people for living their faith, there are no limits to what government can control.
If religious freedom falls in one state, it is endangered everywhere. Where states and leaders advance religious liberty, we need to encourage them to stand. Please read the following petition in support of Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and if you agree, please join me in signing it. Those who stand for freedom need others to stand with them.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed into law a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that protects people who live their daily lives according to their faith against government discrimination. This law reflects polling that shows 81% of Americans support the freedom to live out one's beliefs. The Indiana law is like the federal RFRA that was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, and RFRAs in 19 other states.
Now, a leftist-driven movement has spread misinformation about the law, threatened boycotts and fomented false rhetoric in the media and online. Even in our day, the price of freedom is steep, and Governor Pence is standing strong for freedom despite the cost. Efforts are about to pressure Governor Pence to support changing or amending the law to weaken it. All Americans who live according to their religious beliefs should be free from fear of government punishment. I stand with Governor Pence in his support of religious freedom as stated in the Indiana RFRA, and urge him to oppose all efforts to change the law.
Click here to sign the petition and stand for religious freedom with Gov. Pence!
Tony Perkins, President
Family Research Council
Protecting Navy Chaplains
Forbes Leads Letter to Navy on Religious Protections
for Military Chaplains
Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Founder and Co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, led over 30 Members of Congress in sending a letter to Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, and Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben, Chief of Chaplains for the Navy, urging the Navy to reinforce policies currently in place that protect military chaplains' freedom to practice their religion according to the tenets of their faith.
In the letter, Members expressed concern over the chilling effect cases like that of Chaplain Wesley Modder have on the ability of servicemembers and chaplains to freely exercise their faith. Chaplain Modder's commanding officer requested that he be Detached for Cause based on an investigation report initiated by complaints about his religious views.
"As a reassurance to chaplains, sailors, and the public, we would like confirmation as to what steps the Navy is taking to reinforce the policies and protections in place for servicemembers and chaplains to freely exercise their religiously-informed beliefs," Members wrote, "including the freedom of chaplains to adhere to the tenets of their faith as they perform and provide in all aspects of their ministry, including in counseling sessions. We also request information as to how the Navy has been implementing the conscience protections passed by Congress and what training has been provided to chaplains, JAG officers, Equal Opportunity officers, and commanding officers."
The letter also inquires into the specific case of Chaplain Wesley Modder, requesting an outline of the process and timeline of the investigations being conducted, to ensure they are conducted in accordance with the laws protecting a chaplain's right to express and conduct him or herself according to religious beliefs.
The full text of the letter can be found, here.
Franklin Graham Thanks God for Mike Pence!
Franklin Graham Thanks God for Indiana Governor Mike Pence
Note: Evangelist Franklin Graham continues to comment on breaking news and social/political issues on his Facebook page. The following were comments Graham made regarding Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the rabid reaction to it by gay activists.
"The Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, is taking a lot of heat for doing the right thing. He signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which protects the freedoms of Hoosiers of every faith. He is being attacked by the LGBT community, liberal politicians, and liberal media who don't want Christians' freedoms to be protected.
"Thank God for politicians like Governor Pence who are not afraid to take a stand regardless of the political consequences. We need more men like him in public office across this country and in Washington who are willing to stand for right over wrong."
(Breaking Christian News) Read more here.
The Good News Corner
Revival Hits Tonga: Surfing Missionary Rides the Wave
of the Holy Spirit There
After working for a couple years in West Africa, Zack Woolwine and his wife, Anna, began to seek the Lord about their next mission assignment with Youth for Christ. They returned home to Ohio, but after a year they were ready to go back overseas.
Zack grew up in Florida and attended college in Hawaii, where he was able to nurture a passion for surfing. As he and Anna researched countries, the island of Tonga continued to grab his heart.
Was he drawn to minister in a place where could also ride a few waves, he wondered?
"I have a heart for remote places, but I always thought I would work in North Africa or the Middle East," he recalls. Zack says he was willing to serve in a restricted country where his life might be at risk.
When Tonga continued to grab his heart he wondered if it was just "his flesh talking" or God's leading. Over the next few weeks it became an internal struggle as he fasted and prayed unto the Lord.
One morning Zack sat in the front row at church and poured his heart out to God. "If You want me to go to Tonga, I'll go to Tonga," he told the Lord. "If You want me to go to the Arab world, I will go to the Arab world."
That morning the church had a guest speaker-someone who had never met Zack. In the middle of the man's sermon he stopped abruptly, looked at Zack and said: "God has already shown You what you need to do. You need to start preparing for it."
The following week, a woman approached him at church and said, "I had a dream about you last night. You were on an island and it was really green and you were riding these waves. It was the Holy Spirit and it wasn't a big effort. You were enjoying yourself and you had a big smile on your face."
(Breaking Christian News) Read More
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
LOVE LIFTED ME
"He was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 'Lord, save me!' Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' He said, 'why did you doubt?'" (Matthew 14:29-31)
In these perilous times, when all that can be shaken is being shaken, let us return to the "faith of our fathers" and sing the hymns and songs of old.
May we each draw strength in our own time, as we "dig the wells of treasure" to draw upon the strength that carried our ancestors through their own perilous times. Amen.
LOVE LIFTED ME
I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me!
All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I'll cling
In His blessèd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul's best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.
Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He's the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
About the Author:
Words: James Rowe, 1912.
Music: Howard E. Smith
Rowe and Smith wrote this song in Saugatuck, Connecticut. According to Rowe's daughter:
Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all, much less play the piano . . . I can see them now, my father striding up and down humming a bar or two and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down.
Signs and Wonders
Small tsunami generated in Pacific after quake
SYDNEY (AP) - A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea on Monday, generating a small tsunami and frightening locals near the epicenter, but prompting no reports of damage or injuries.
A tsunami of half a meter (1.5 feet) was measured in the harbor of Rabaul, a town near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.7 earthquake, said Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center. The quake struck at a depth of 65 kilometers (40 miles), about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of the town of Kokopo, near Rabaul, in northeastern Papua New Guinea, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
. . . In Rabaul, residents noticed the sea level rose slightly, prompting ocean water to flood the parking lot of a shopping center near the beach, said Mika Tuvi, an employee at the Rabaul Hotel. "But nothing beyond that - no damage caused," she said.
When the quake struck, guests and workers at the hotel fled outside, fearing the building would collapse, Tuvi said. The tremors, which lasted for about 5 minutes, were frightening in their intensity, but the hotel withstood the shaking, she said.
Earthquakes are common in Papua New Guinea. The country lies on the "Ring of Fire" - an arc of earthquake and volcanic activity that stretches around the Pacific Rim. (USA Today) Read more.
Today's Birthdays on the Hill
Today we wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to:
Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA)
Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Angus King (ME)
God bless you!
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Ray Boltz "Watch the Lamb"