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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus,
for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)
Please enjoy our abbreviated editions of the Daily Brief during this very special Christmas week. Take time to enjoy the fellowship of your own family and friends as we all celebrate "the Word (Who was) made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1:14) Amen.
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)
GOD SENDS A SIGN OF LIFE IN THE SKIES OVER ISRAEL
Amazing. Above Israel, "Chai" shines -- the Hebrew symbol of life!
1. Turkish president meets Hamas leader amid Turkey-Israel reconciliation - Israel Hayom
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Saturday in Istanbul, sources close to the Turkish president said, a day after Israel and Turkey declared they were close to patching up a five-year political rift.
A source told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that the two countries were poised to sign a deal to normalize ties shortly, following recent talks in Switzerland. The agreement would also likely include a natural gas deal between Israel and Turkey.
Even before reconciliation talks began, plans to build a pipeline and import natural gas from Israel's vast Leviathan field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea were never shelved, a Turkish source close to the talks told Reuters.
2. Senior executive of Turkish ruling party: Israel undoubtedly 'a friend' of Ankara - Jerusalem Post
"The Israeli state and Israeli nation is a friend of Turkey without a doubt," Omer Celik, a spokesperson for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, said on Sunday during a press conference in Ankara according to reports by the Turkish daily Hurriyet.
According to the report, Celik said that while a final agreement had yet to be signed, Israel and Turkey were working on a draft agreement to improve ties between the two nations at a meeting in Switzerland between the incoming head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, Israeli envoy Joseph Ciechanover and Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.
"There is no concrete agreement, [or] anything that has been signed," said Celik according to the report. "Efforts have been ongoing for a draft," he added.
3. French MP in ultimatum to Israel: Accept our diplomas or I'll oppose Aliyah - Times of Israel
A Jewish lawmaker in France is warning that he will move to stymie French-Jewish immigration to Israel if the country does not act quickly to fully recognize French academic degrees.
Meyer Habib said he will call on French Jews to freeze their plans to immigrate to Israel if the state does not, in the next three months, enact reforms that would allow French doctors, dentists, nurses and lawyers to immediately start working in Israel without having to pass difficult tests.
4. The Greek parliament is set to recognize the state of Palestine in a parliamentary vote - Times of Israel
A ceremony will accompany the vote on the resolution Monday, as Greece joins dozens of other countries that accord recognition to Palestine, the source said.
5. Benjamin Netanyahu 'threatens to strip Jerusalem residency from 230,000 Palestinians' - Independent
Plans to strip Jerusalem residency rights from Palestinians in the wake of recent violence could affect more than 230,000 people, according to reports.
Identity cards give around 350,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem the right to work and move freely across the city, and are used by residents both inside and outside the separation wall built in 2003.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has previously hinted at the prospect of taking away residency rights from some Palestinians, seemingly manipulating public fears about a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that began around two months ago.
6. Israeli Government Discriminates against Christian School- Christian Headlines
The Israeli government has decided to cut funding from Christian schools, which has led to an accusation of discrimination.
Father Abdel Masih Fahim, a representative of Christian Schools in Israel, says the government's decision to cut funding of Christian schools from 75 percent to only 29 percent is evidence of discrimination.
Many claim that the last remaining Church of Scotland school is a beacon of hope in a country that experiences constant violence and unrest.
The Daily Brief
1. Deadly attack on U.S. forces shows the Afghan war is far from over - Washington Post
A Taliban attack killed six U.S. service members near Kabul on Monday, U.S. officials said, in the latest sign of deepening violence across Afghanistan and the risks facing President Obama's plan to leave the most intense fighting to local forces.
U.S. military officials said the attack, the most deadly insurgent assault on American forces in at least three years, took place a few miles from Bagram air base, when a motorbike rigged with explosives detonated and hit a group of U.S. troops attending a meeting with local figures.
The attack comes as the Afghan government struggles to beat back a series of large-scale Taliban offensives and contain a nascent campaign by militants linked to the Islamic State. The latest casualties also serve as a reminder that although most American forces have gone home, Afghanistan's long war is not yet over. (Read more)
- Father, we ask that You comfort those who mourn today on the fields of battle. We ask, too, that You would move upon the hearts of all chaplains to "defy orders" and to allow these men and women in uniform to celebrate on Christmas Day with a service of Your choosing. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)
2. Russia will destroy ISIS with NUCLEAR cruise missiles if necessary warns Putin - Express Co. UK
PUTIN has said today that he will continue to improve Russia's nuclear arsenal in a bid to deter potential threats to his country - including arming cruise missiles with nukes to destroy ISIS.
Speaking on a documentary broadcast on Russian TV, Putin said he would not wield the "nuclear big stick." But he threatened to liquidate Islamic State jihadis with nuclear warheads if conventional bombing raids fail to destroy the terror group.
The Russian president warned that his military's cruise missiles could be fitted with atomic weapons. During a televised meeting with defence minister Sergey Shoigu, Putin said: "We must analyse everything happening on the battlefield, how the weapons operate. he added that launching a nuclear strike on ISIS in their Iraqi and Syrian heartlands would only be used as a last resort. He said: "Naturally, this is not necessary when fighting terrorists and, I hope, will never be needed." (Read more)
- Lord God, ISIS must be destroyed. We ask that You will guide Vladimir Putin with Your wisdom about how this can be accomplished. We ask this wisdom in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
3. Iranian hackers breached US power grid to engineer blackouts - Times of Israel
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.
Digital clues pointed to Iranian hackers. And Wallace found that they had already taken passwords, as well as engineering drawings of dozens of power plants, at least one with the title "Mission Critical." The drawings were so detailed that experts say skilled attackers could have used them, along with other tools and malicious code, to knock out electricity flowing to millions of homes.
Wallace was astonished. But this breach, The Associated Press has found, was not unique. (Read more)
- Lord God, You are the King of the universe, and You reign over all. We ask that You would send forth Your ministering angels to "take down" these cyberattacks, and to render these strategies null and void. We plead the Blood of the Lamb over cyberspace today, in Jesus' name, and we ask that all damage be fixed, amen.
- "The LORD says, "I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts." (Joel 2:25 NLT)
4. Republicans blast Kerry for suggesting Iran could skirt new visa rules - Fox News
Republicans on Monday blasted Secretary of State John Kerry for suggesting in a letter to his Iranian counterpart that the administration could help the country get around new visa restrictions passed by Congress.
"Instead of bending over backwards to try to placate the Iranian regime, the White House needs to be holding it accountable for its recent missile tests, its continued support for terrorism, and its wrongful imprisonment of Americans," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said in a statement to FoxNews.com. (Read more)
- Father, we say "NO COMPROMISE" in our immigration laws, and that no one group would be shown favor above all others, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways." (Job 22:28)
5. Driver plows onto Las Vegas Strip sidewalk 'like bowling ball', one dead - Reuters
An Oregon woman who killed one woman and injured at least 35 pedestrians when she plowed her car into crowds on a Las Vegas Strip sidewalk on Sunday evening was driving with her license suspended, authorities said on Monday.
Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, who was homeless and living in her sedan with her toddler, gave herself up to officers a short distance from the scene of the carnage. She parked her car and told a valet to call 911, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joe Lombardo told a news conference.
Surveillance video from the scene supports the police assertion that Holloway drove into pedestrians as "an intentional act," Lombardo said. (Read more)
- Lord God, others are stating that this woman was screaming out her window, "Allahu Akbar", as she drove into these pedestrians, twice. We ask that all details of this tragedy would be revealed. We repent that, apparently, the authorities are asking this not be called a "terrorist attack," lest their tourism business be impacted. We repent for the spirit of greed that has hold in this city, and we ask that You forgive the city fathers for this action, for they know not what they do, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light." (Mark 4:22)
Please see also, this report.
6. Obama Accuses Trump of Exploiting Working-Class Fear; Spoken by the Master of Division - NYTimes
President Obama said in a radio interview airing on Monday that Donald J. Trump, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is exploiting the resentment and anxieties of working-class men to boost his campaign. Mr. Obama also argued that some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first African-American to hold the White House.
Demographic changes and economic stresses, including "flatlining" wages and incomes, have meant that "particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck," Mr. Obama said in the interview with National Public Radio. (Read more)
- Father God, we know we have a long year ahead as we move into the season of our national elections. We cast down these words by the sitting president of the United States, and call them null and void under the Blood of the Lamb. Father God, by Your grace, we ask that You would help each one of us to steer a "straight course" in all things political next year, according to Your perfect will, in the name of Jesus, amen and amen.
- "The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths." (Psalm 107:42)
7. GOP candidate Cruz seeks to shutter PLO's Washington office - Times of Israel
Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz called on Secretary of State John Kerry to pull the Palestinian Liberation Organization's permit to maintain a Washington DC office as Congress passed a spending bill Friday reasserting the legal basis to shut the quasi-consulate down. In a letter to Kerry released Monday by Cruz's office, signed by 32 members of Congress, the senator cited reports by the NGO Palestinian Media Watch that the PLO funds terrorism by paying jailed terrorists. This practice, they complained, rewards and incentivizes attacks on Israelis. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for this initiative that is now being proposed by Senator Ted Cruz. We ask Your hand of blessing to rest upon it, that it shall become law.
Abba, we take note, too, that today is the birthday of Senator Ted Cruz, so we wish him a happy birthday, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
8. After Linus' Luke Passage is Cut, Kentucky School Parents Picket to Reinstate Gospel Reading in 'Charlie Brown Christmas' Play - Gospel Herald
After Kentucky public school officials announced they were cutting the iconic Nativity story from the school's stage play of "A Charlie Brown Christmas," parents set up a picket line outside school district offices this week. School representatives said they took the measure to avoid a potential lawsuit. Others are crying, "Good grief!"
At least one parent in the Johnson County school district complained about Linus' reading from the Gospel of Luke that was a focus of the 1965 television special that gave rise to the play, according to an article in The Paintsville Herald.
Eliminating this particular portion of the enactment upset other parents who want the play to remain intact and sent them to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty watchdog group, states Religion News Service. ADF lawyers maintain the school district is "within its constitutional rights to stage the play as it was written." (Read more)
- In the name of Jesus, we pull down this anti-Christ attempt to erase the Godly spiritual heritage of our country by eliminating, in this play, a passage from Your Word, which has life. We speak a firm correction to this by the authorities based on the Bill of Rights and the natural laws of God in our Constitution. Thank You, Lord, for brave citizens who will confront this kind of wickedness. We again speak success to the ADF in standing with these parents. Amen!
- "Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord; do not let their plans succeed." (Psalms 140:8)
9. ACLU Sues Christian Hospitals for Their Refusal to Perform Abortions - Christian News.com
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is volunteering to defend Trinity Catholic Hospitals after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the Hospitals in October for their refusal to perform abortions. Trinity Health operates 86 facilities in 21 states.
According to thegatewaypundit.com,"Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing several pro-life, pro-women's organizations asked a federal court Wednesday to allow the groups to intervene in defense of a Catholic hospital system that the American Civil Liberties Union sued in October. The ACLU lawsuit is asking the court to force Trinity Health and its staff to commit abortions regardless of their religious and pro-life objections."
The various organizations represented by ADF are Catholic Medical Association, Christian Medical and Dental Association, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Concerned Women for America. "Patients should always have the freedom to choose a health care facility that respects life and to choose doctors who do not commit abortions," stated ADF Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. (Read more)
- Dear Lord, our God, we stand in solidarity with the Alliance Defending Freedom as they come against this anti-Christ driven agenda to extinguish life before it is born. We speak wisdom, favor, and God's justice to the ADF as it fights this battle to overcome the enemy of God's people. We speak out great resources coming to ADF and pray that this battle will make Americans more aware of how wrong abortion is. Amen, and amen!
- "End the evil of those who are wicked, and defend the righteous. For you look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God." (Psalms 7:9)
10. Record breaking 100M+ travelers expected this holiday - Daily Record
The roads are projected to be more crowded than ever this holiday season with more than 100 million travelers expected to take a trip, according to AAA Travel. That figure - 100.5 million - would mean nearly one in every three Americans will take a trip for more than 50 miles, a 1.4 percent increase from the 2014 holiday and the seventh consecutive year for growth.
The year-end holidays typically see the most travelers because of the extended duration of the holiday period, defined this year as Wednesday, Dec. 23, to Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. "The holidays are a time spent with friends and family, and the record number of people traveling this year should make for a joyous travel season," said Cathleen Lewis, director of public affairs and government relations for AAA Northeast in New Jersey.
The vast majority of travelers, about 90.4 percent in New Jersey (2.23 million) and 90.9 percent nationwide (91.3 million), will be reaching their destinations by automobile. (Read more)
- Father God, we bless you that Americans can celebrate the birth of Your Son at this time of year and that we can do so freely. We seek You, however, for the traveling mercies for the vast number of people who will be on the road or in the air at this time and ask that all would run smoothly in the transportation industries. We bind up all terror plots and speak failure to attempts to put fear into this holiday season. May Your Presence be felt in hearts and homes this year!
- "For you shall not go out with haste. Nor go by flight; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel shall be your rear guard." (Isaiah 52:12)
The Daily Jot (Part One)
Monday, December 21, 2015
Of the White House, Persecution and Genocide
Christmas is only four days away. It is a time, at least in America, when we still can celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is estimated that over 92 percent of Americans will celebrate Christmas in some form or another, even those who do not accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Most will be with family or friends. Most will attend some form of church service. Most will exchange gifts in the comfort of our homes or someone else's house. Most will break bread with loved ones and, even if it is brief, experience the love and the spirit of the birth of Christ. Christ was not likely born this time of the year, and many take exception to the commercialization of Christmas, but is a time to celebrate the Light of the world.
Certainly there has been a lot written this year about Islam being brought into Christmas. The American Civil Liberties Union and its partners continue to press for their brand of separation of church and state. They file suit against towns for wanting to display nativity scenes. They file suit against schools for wanting to discuss Christmas or have Christmas decorations, sing Christmas songs or even exchange gifts. 'Haven't seen any lawsuits when Islam is being portrayed during Christmas in public schools. This double standard has created a soft tyranny atmosphere in the United States where people are cautious to promote Christmas for fear of some sort of legal retaliation.
Isn't this how persecution starts? Someone is offended here or there and suddenly an entire segment of the Christmas tradition is removed. In other places of the world, however, Christians want to celebrate Christmas. They may be exchanging smiles instead of gifts because any outward celebration of their Savior could result in their own death or incarceration. According to author and columnist Raymond Ibrahim, the White House is essentially ignoring the ongoing genocide of Christians around the world. Ibrahim wrote in a recent article, the "president's" "officials argue that Christians "do not appear to meet the high bar set out int he genocide treaty" when describing victims.
This attitude has likely opened the door in the US for hostility against Christians and emboldened Islamists who are instructed by their holy book to kill Christians and Jews. Ibrahim reports that in August, for example, Portland, Maine Christian healthcare worker Freddy Akoa was beaten to death, his blood-spattered Bible found next to his body. Police refused to release details, but three Muslim Somali "refugees" were arrested and later found to be part of a terrorist group with ties to the Islamic State. This Christmas, let us not forget those who are persecuted here and abroad, for as Jesus said in Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
The Daily Jot (Part Two)
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
US warned about Islamic immigration--9 years ago today
On December 22, 2006--nine years ago today--The Daily Jot wrote: "Virginia Republican Congressman Virgil Goode is in hot water with a few other congressmen and the radical Islamic civil rights group, Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In a letter to constituents concerned about the election of Islamic Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota, Goode wrote, "The Muslim representative from Minnesota was elected by the voters of that district and if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."
"Goode further said, "I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America and to prevent our resources from being swamped." In exercising his free speech and by saying what is on his mind, as American are supposed to do, Goode's remarks are being slammed by some Democratic Congressman as "offensive" to the Muslim American community and CAIR has demanded an apology, saying "there can be no reasonable defense of such bigotry."
"Of course, Ellison is not an illegal immigrant. He converted to Islam in college. And of course, not all illegal immigrants or immigrants in general are Muslim. But Goode's position, though roughly communicated, has merit. The Islamic concept of government through Theocracy as spelled out in the Koran is incompatible with the American form of governing by a Constitutional Republic. The Koran charges all followers of allah to conquer the infidels and put them to death or into submission. The Islamic population growth in Europe, for example, is so extensive that many have predicted an Islamic takeover of Europe within 10 to 20 years. If that happens, Europe will be run like any other Islamic state.
"Anyone who tries to sound a warning on this issue is labeled a bigot and his thoughts and speech are condemned by Islamic apologists who either do not see the danger to this country or they support Islam's strategy...Congressman Goode, like any other American patriot, does not want to see the demise of his country at the hands of those whose beliefs cannot long coexist in a Constitutional Republic. In Jeremiah 51:14, the Lord says, "Surely I will fill you with men as with locusts and they shall lift up a shout against you." This nation must beware of its enemies and Islam has declared itself as such." That was nine years ago, About the only thing that changed is that Goode is no longer in office, and things have gotten worse.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Our Grandmothers' Songs
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
"There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them." (Luke 2:8-9)
Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and Child. Holy Infant, so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace, Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight; Glories stream from heaven afar, Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!
Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love's pure light; Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Silent night, holy night Wondrous star, lend thy light; With the angels let us sing, Alleluia to our King; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born!
Please go here.
About the Author:
Words: Josef Mohr, 1816
Music: Franz X. Gruber, 1820
this carol has been a Christmas favorite for almost 200 years.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
(This week, we will sing the traditional carols of the season, along with Grandma! For the lyrics, please see the "Grandmother's Songs" above. Merry Christmas!)
Amen . . .