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Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"A National Prayer Alliance"
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
"These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." (Rev. 17:14)
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" (Rev. 22:17)
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. Saudi cleric on TV: Treachery courses through the veins of the Jews like blood - Jerusalem Post
A Saudi cleric voiced viral anti-Semitism in a recent TV interview, saying that the Jews are arrogant people who had implemented The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
"Treachery courses through the veins [of the Jews] like blood," said Sheikh Muhammad al-Munajid, according to the video of the interview posted by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) on Sunday. (Read more)
2. 'The only country ISIS fears in the Middle East is Israel' - Jerusalem Post
A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country - Israel.
In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.
"The only country ISIS fears is Israel," Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. "They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them." (Read more)
3. Bennett urges Israeli annexation of West Bank - Times of Israel
Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Monday said Israel should annex the West Bank, beginning with the Etzion bloc and Binyamin regions.
"The time has come to say Israel is ours," he said at a meeting of the Knesset's Land of Israel Caucus. "To go from strategic defense to a process of initiating the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the territories under Israeli control in Judea and Samaria."
"We need to mark this as a strategic objective and stop the misunderstood message sent from Israel abroad," added Bennett, who heads the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home party. (Read more)
4. Head of missile defense program fired over security breach -Times of Israel
The prize-winning, highly respected head of Israel's burgeoning missile defense program was booted from his post amid allegations that he improperly maintained state secrets, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.
Yair Ramati, who was responsible for developing Israel's Iron Dome, David's Sling and Arrow missile defense systems, committed "severe information security violations," according to the ministry. "Going further, the case will be handled by the relevant authorities."
As a result, "he cannot continue to hold his position at the Defense Ministry," according to a statement. (Read more)
5. By the numbers: Death toll in terror wave rises to 24 - Israel National News
24 Israelis have been murdered since the current wave of Arab terror began in October, according to updated figures released Wednesday evening by Magen David Adom.
This number includes victims from a car accident caused by rock-throwing in Jerusalem on the eve Rosh Hashanah, the murder of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, and a series of attacks in all areas of Israel, including northern, southern, central Israel and particularly Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.
So far, Magen David Adom paramedics, in responding to the wave of stabbing, shooting and car ramming attacks, have given medical treatment and evacuated to hospitals at total of 283 people suffering from various degrees of injuries. (Read more)
6. Israel Beefs Up Security Along Lebanese Border in Wake of Hezbollah Threats, Rocket Launches - Algemeiner
Israel beefed up security along the Lebanese border, after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to avenge the assassination of Samir Kuntar, Israeli media reported on Monday.
According to Walla news, local farmers near the scenic, predominantly rural border said it was the most security presence they can recall since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. A resident of Moshav Avivim, Haim Biton, told Walla that the IDF had surrounded the moshav and locked the back gates.
The Israeli press has said the IDF is concerned that Hezbollah could try to take over a Jewish community near the border in a future confrontation. Earlier this year, after the reported Israeli assassination of several Hezbollah operatives, including two leading figures, the group attacked an IDF patrol along the border, killing two soldiers. (Read more)
7. David's Sling Ready for Action - Bridges for Peace
Today, David's Sling is once again featured in Israel's arsenal, this time as a revolutionary new air defense system, capable of intercepting medium-range missiles or other guided threats.
David's Sling passed its final round of tests on Monday, the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency announced, and is now on the route for deployment in Israel's Air Force in early 2016. (Read more)
8. Swine Flu Breakout in Israel Leads to Fears of Possible Epidemic - Breaking Israel News
A Swine Flu virus (H1N1) breakout has been declared in Israel, with 13 people already infected, nine in serious condition. One woman in her 50s has died after contracting the virus. Three pregnant women and a four-year-old girl are among those infected.
Israel's Health Ministry has issued emergency guidelines, recommending to the public immediate vaccinations, which are being offered for free via all major health insurance companies. Thousands of Israelis have responded by getting vaccinated in the past week. (Read more)
9. Weekly Prayer Alert from Intercessors for Israel
To read this bulletin, please go here.
10. Weekly Prayer Alert from Bridges for Peace
To read this bulletin, please go here.
The Daily Brief
1. Tornadoes hit Dallas area: 'Total devastation': Nine tornadoes confirmed; storms leave 11 dead, hundreds without homes - Dallas Morning News
Hundreds huddled in shelters Sunday while trying to add up the damage to their homes, churches and schools caused by deadly storms that blew through North Texas.
Eleven people, including an infant, were killed in Dallas and Collin counties, and as many as 11 tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornadoes Sunday night and said that number could rise in the coming days as more areas are surveyed.
A tornado that blew through Garland, Rowlett and Sunnyvale killing eight people Saturday night has been classified as an EF4, with winds up to 180 mph, according to the Weather Service. And a tornado that killed two people in Copeville has been classified as an EF2 with winds reaching 125 mph. (Read more)
- Oh, Lord, please have mercy on this devastated area with its hundreds of displaced people. We ask that all who are affected would find shelter and food for the time being and then find mercy and grace to rebuild their lives and homes after this catastrophe. Lord, send laborers into this harvest so that people will be added to Your Kingdom and so that Your children will all learn to rely on You for their sustenance. We ask this in Your name, amen.
- "O storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels and make your foundations lapis lazuli." (Isaiah 54:11)
2. Oregon bakery owners pay more than $135G in damages over refusal to make cake for gay wedding - Fox News
The owners of an Oregon bakery who denied service to a same-sex couple have paid more than $135,000 in state-ordered damages - months after refusing to do so - according to state officials Monday.
Aaron Klein, co-owner of Sweet Cakes, by Melissa, dropped a check off for $136,927.07, according to the Bureau of Labor and Industries. The payment includes interest. Klein also paid $7,000 earlier this month.
Damages were award in July for emotional suffering caused by the bakery which refused to make a wedding cake for Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer more than two years ago. The bakers said they refused to make the cake because of their religious beliefs. (Read more)
- Lord, we are mindful that we do not war against flesh and blood, that our warfare is not carnal. And here we see the repeated, blatant, haughty laws of man exalting themselves against the knowledge of God.
Enough! Lord we ask You to renew our diligence in spiritual warfare until we see these unrighteous tactics cease in our land. We ask You for favor in the courts, righteous lawmakers and advocates. We plead in the Court of Heaven for our Righteous Judge to rule in favor of the saints. In the name of Jesus Christ, we issue this decree, amen and amen.
- "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled."
(2 Corinthians 10:4,5,6)
3. European capitals on heightened alert for terror attacks ahead of New Year - Jerusalem Post
Vienna police said on Saturday a "friendly" intelligence service had warned European capitals of the possibility of a shooting or bomb attack before New Year, prompting police across the continent to increase security measures.
"Several possible names of potential attackers were mentioned, which were checked, and the investigation based on (these checks) has so far yielded no concrete results," Vienna police said in a statement, some six weeks after 130 people were killed in Islamist bombing and shooting attacks in Paris.
"In the days before Christmas a warning was sent out by a friendly (intelligence) service to numerous European capitals, saying that it could come to an attack involving explosives or a shooting between Christmas and the New Year in crowded spaces." (Read more)
- Father God, we must look to You and You alone for protection from those who hate You. We rely on You to give authorities, especially in Europe and America, supernatural knowledge of all planned attacks so that lives may be saved and the specter of terror be pushed back. May this be an opportunity for people to turn to You as never before. We ask this prayer in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "In righteousness thou shalt be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror: for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54:14)
4. Iran Hands Over Stockpile of Enriched Uranium to Russia - NYT
A Russian ship left Iran on Monday carrying almost all of Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium, fulfilling a major step in the nuclear deal struck last summer and, for the first time in nearly a decade, apparently leaving Iran with too little fuel to manufacture a nuclear weapon.
The shipment was announced by Secretary of State John Kerry and confirmed by a spokesman for Russia's civilian nuclear company, Rosatom. Mr. Kerry called it "one of the most significant steps Iran has taken toward fulfilling its commitment," and American officials say that it may be only weeks before the deal reached in July takes effect. (Read more)
- Oh God, Creator of all things great and small . . . it is You who will rise up against and expose the power struggles, strife, and hidden agendas of a corrupt governing system of our day. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen.
- "O generation of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34)
5. Iran's Rouhani to visit Vatican in January - Daily Mail UK
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will make his first visit to the Vatican and meet Pope Francis in the second half of January, a spokesman for the tiny city state said Tuesday. While no date has been set, the visit is likely to take place towards the end of the month, spokesman Ciro Benedettini told journalists.
Rouhani, a self-declared moderate who was elected in 2013, had been scheduled to visit the Vatican in November as part of a tour which would have taken him to Italy and France. But the trip was cancelled following the Paris attacks. (Read more)
- We call upon You . . .The Alpha and the Omega . . .The First and the Last . . . how we thank You for reminding us that we are to see to it that no one takes us captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.
As we read this news, we see that the leaders of the world's false religions are beginning to merge, forming a new global alliance that will lead, in time, to the one-world religion prophesied in Scripture. Lord, this is one more indication that Your Second Coming is now right at the door. May we be found faithful, O Lord, in Your name, amen and amen.
- "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8)
6. Iraq retakes central Ramadi from Islamic State - USA Today
Iraqi government forces retook central parts of the key city of Ramadi on Monday from Islamic State militants, the military said. The announcement by Iraq's military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, was broadcast live on state TV. He said Ramadi had been "grabbed from the hateful claws" of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS.
The operation's success was confirmed by the Pentagon. "We congratulate the Iraqi Security Forces for their continued success against ISIL in Ramadi," said Army Col. Steve Warren, the top spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Baghdad. "The clearance of the government center is a significant accomplishment and is the result of many months of hard work by the Iraqi Army, the Counter Terrorism Service, the Iraqi Air Force, local and federal police, and tribal fighters," he said.
The Islamic State controlled five neighborhoods on the eastern edge of Ramadi that make up about 10% of the city, but government forces had surrounded those pockets of resistance, an Iraqi military officer said Monday. The officer asked not to be named, because he wasn't authorized to discuss details of the offensive. He said Iraqi troops are trying to keep the militants from fleeing to nearby Fallujah, which is still under Islamic State control. (Read more)
- Father, every time we see reports that ISIS has been pushed back or has lost ground, we rejoice. Thank You, Lord, for this victory. We ask that this would be a lasting accomplishment so that the people of Iraq can, indeed, live safely in Ramadi once again. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
- "But the Lord has been my defense, And my God the rock of my refuge. He has brought on them their own iniquity, And shall cut them off in their own wickedness; The Lord our God shall cut them off." (Psalm 94:22,23)
7. Taliban is back, far superior to the Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States - Washington Post
The Taliban is back, its fighters showing a battle discipline and initiative far superior to the Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the United States. In private, top Afghan and American officials have begun to voice increasingly grim assessments of the resurgent Taliban threat, most notably in a previously undisclosed transcript of a late-October meeting of the Afghan National Security Council. "We have not met the people's expectations. We haven't delivered," Abdullah Abdullah, the country's chief executive, told the high-level gathering. "Our forces lack discipline. They lack rotation opportunities. We haven't taken care of our own policemen and soldiers. They continue to absorb enormous casualties." (Read more)
- Father, we lift up to You this deteriorating situation in Afghanistan that shows the enemies of freedom making advances. We pray that You would give our leaders wisdom on the ground to know how to motivate and train the local troops. We pray that You would see to it that the gains that were made in the past would stand under this assault and that a new perspective would be gained nationally by an infusion of the Gospel. We declare this in the name of Jesus, amen!
- " . . . for 'who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:16)
8. Kabul Attack: Taliban Suicide Bomb Near Airport Kills Civilian, Injures 13 - Reuters
A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least one person and wounded 13 in an attack on a road near a school close to Kabul airport, officials in the Afghan capital said on Monday, barely two weeks after a major Taliban assault in the city. (Read more)
- Father, this report confirms the one we just posted. Our enemies are not only ISIS, but the Taliban and al Qaeda are both still alive and well . . and willing to give their own lives to this cause. We ask you comfort the family who has lost a loved one in this attack, and heal the injured. Lord God, we ask for Your help tonight, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongs- O God, to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth!" (Psalm 94:1)
9. Coalition forces kill ISIS leader connected to Paris attack - CNN
The U.S.-led coalition killed multiple figures within ISIS senior leadership over the last few weeks, including an operative closely linked to the ringleader of the November attacks in Paris, the spokesman for the coalition said Tuesday.
Col. Steve Warren said 10 senior ISIS leaders operating in both Iraq and Syria, "including several external attack planners," with designs on attacking western targets, had been killed in airstrikes.
Charaffe al Mouadan, a Syrian-based member of ISIS with a "direct link" to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Belgian-born ringleader of the terror attacks in Paris, was killed in a December 24 airstrike, and was "actively planning additional attacks against the West," Warren said.
Abaaoud was killed in a police raid in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis last month and had direct contacts, the coalition said, with al Mouadan before the attacks took place, which killed more than 120 people. (Read more)
- Father God, we rejoice at the report of this victory. Again, we ask Your help in rendering the forces of ISIS null and void in the days ahead, and that Your hand of protection would rest upon anyone they have targeted for an attack. Thank You, Lord, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full." (Jeremiah 51:56)
10. BREAKING! Heavily Armed Anti-Terror Police to Guard Times Square on New Year's - NBC News
Nearly 6,000 police officers - hundreds of them with long guns, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs - will be guarding New York's Times Square as a year punctuated by terrorist attacks draws to a close, officials said Tuesday.
The NYPD and the FBI unveiled plans to protect the more than 1 million people who will throng to the Crossroads of the World on New Year's Eve - including multilayered checkpoints and a new 500-member Critical Response Command of elite counterterrorism cops launched two months ago. "We are very very confident that New Year's Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be," said Chief James Waters, who is in charge of counterterrorism operations for the police department. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said investigators have been monitoring intelligence channels for anything that would suggest Times Square could be a target.
"We are not aware of any threat at this time that we deem credible," he said. (Read more)
- Lord God we are thankful that multiple skilled forces will be on guard in our nation New Year's Eve. We are aware of the devious and brutal tactics that have been employed against us this year. Yet we are also mindful that what we have not yet seen may yet be afoot - namely a biochemical attack. Lord our confidence is in You, that You will be the true watchman over our nation. We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "He rules by His might forever, His eyes observe and keep watch over the nations; let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah" (Psalm 66:7)
"I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom." (Daniel 7:21,22)
The Daily Jot
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Don't take satan's bait
Everyone is trying to make sense of all the violence across the country. These things are not new, but they seem to be getting worse. For example in a Christmas Eve Jot in 2008, I recounted the headlines of how a newlywed husband, eager to see what his wife had gotten him for Christmas, peeked inside the wrapping. The wife was so enraged that she stabbed her husband six times with a kitchen knife. A kitchen knife was also the weapon in New Jersey where a mother slashed her six year old son's throat, then tried to commit suicide. In Detroit, a woman committed suicide after shooting her husband and family dog dead with the same gun. Today we have stories of terrorist events and murders--leading up to and through the holidays.
Fires, family fights, murders, suicides, terrorist events, drunk driving deaths, even natural deaths seem to be more prevalent during the holiday season. People are stressed. They are rushing about, busy with the getting of and doing things, that life itself seems to take a backstage. Then there is that one little thing-a child asking that silly question for the tenth time, or the husband coming home a tad bit late, or the wife not getting that little thing done-and "boom" everything blows up and lives are changed forever. My household growing up was a wonderful place to be. But the only arguments I remember my parents having were during the holidays. Some stupid thing would go wrong and not even a well-prepared Secretary of State could successfully intervene.
We lived at our farm that had been in the family for over 200 years. And things were old and sometimes didn't work well. They didn't work well especially during the holidays when large family and friend gatherings were about to occur. One year, the well went dry just hours before my mother was to serve a meal to about 25 family members. She ordered a water truck to come fill the well. My dad said that the water would just run out of the well and that she just had to patiently wait for the water level to restore itself. This led to World War III. Mom was packing her bags and leaving this old farm house forever. Well, my Dad's patience with her saved the day, and a little help from a quick running spring gave us the water we needed. All was well.
But the point is that during holidays that celebrate the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, the spiritual enemy presses in and tries to steal the joy of the season. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." Remember that satan wants to destroy anything that would honor Christ-your holidays, your home, your family, even you. But Christ is a life giver. He came that we might have life to its fullest measure. So when those thoughts creep in that do not reflect the life-giving joy of Christ, cast them down before they become actions. If you can't seem to do that, call your pastor or a friend or 911. Don't take satan's bait.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
If you see something . . .
If you see something . . . say something . . .
These days, this is good information to know . . . .
If you suspect and/or observe activity that points to any possible terrorist activity, PLEASE notify law enforcement immediately. Local and/or federal agencies.
How to contact the FBI:
1. You can call 1-800-CALLFBI(225-5324). I suggest you program this into your phone. This is the general tip line. You will hear a recording with a menu. If this is an emergency, choose the option which will allow you to speak with a person. If you choose to leave a voice message it may take 24-48 hours before it reaches responding personnel.
2. You can call or walk into your local FBI office. To find out the location go to the web site: FBI.gov. Enter your zip code to find the office closest to you. If this is an emergency insist on speaking with the duty agent. There is an agent on duty for walk-ins from 8:15am-5pm each day(Monday-Friday). There is a duty agent on call 24/7 for phone calls. The key is to speak with someone directly who has the authority to act upon your information/documentation.
3. Please PRAY continually for the protection, wisdom, and unity of our law enforcement agents, their families, and those in leadership.
As citizens of the United States it is our privilege and duty to be "Watchmen on the Wall."
" Go, set a watchman; let him announce what he sees . . . Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights." (Isaiah 21: 6, 8)
(Source: a friend inside the agency)
A Gentle Reminder . . .
A Gentle Reminder . . .
"Thank you for YOU, and . . . we can still use your help!"
Recently, my wife (Sara) sent out a message to all of you to simply say, "Thank you for you!" -- and to let you know of our financial need at the end of this year.
Tonight, we are praising God for your response to our cry for help, and we do bless you for your generous giving over this past month. So many of you have also written very kind notes to us, letting us know how our Daily Briefs have served as a blessing in your own prayer life.
Having said this, however, we must admit that, in order to move into the next year on a sound financial footing, we can still use your help . . .
And for some of you, the date of December 31st can also make a difference for your tax purposes. Capitol Hill Prayer Partners is a 501 c 3, tax-exempt nonprofit ministry, depending solely on the gifts of our friends to sustain this work.
For those of you who have not yet responded to our need, may we ask that you prayerfully do so now?
Gifts can be received online by going here
You may also send a check to:
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172
Thank you very much, and God bless you.
Sincerely in Him,
Jim Ballenger, CPA
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
Vonette Bright is with Jesus
Vonette Bright is with Jesus
"Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4) Amen.
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that Mrs. Vonette Bright went home to be with Jesus this afternoon and we are confident she is worshiping God alongside her husband, Bill Bright, who passed away in 2003 after almost 55 years of marriage.
Mrs. Bright served as the Co-Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and Chairman Emeritus of America's National Prayer Committee. She has been influential in the prayer movement since 1974 when she helped form America's National Prayer Committee, which led to the formation of the National Day of Prayer Task Force in 1983.
As chairman, she led prayer gatherings for America for over 9 years. Mrs. Bright then passed the baton to Mrs. Shirley Dobson (wife of Dr. James Dobson) in 1991. Under her leadership, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has trained and equipped a grassroots movement that has mobilized over 600,000 prayer gatherings across the country with an estimated attendance of over 40 million people, joined together, lifting a voice of petition and intercession for our nation.
"Today, I have lost a dear friend and we will miss her. What an impact she has made for the kingdom. She is a great saint and I know she is hearing those words 'well, done thy good and faithful servant.'" - Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force
Among her other work, Vonette has authored more than a dozen books, and in 1993, she launched Women Today International, a ministry to and for women. She was also instrumental in the formation of Campus Crusade for Christ (known as Cru in the U.S.), alongside her husband Bill. Together they spent more than 50 years serving and watching the Lord grow the ministry to over 27,000 staff members and 225,000 volunteers in 190 countries.
Vonette is survived by her 2 grown sons, her 4 grandchildren and thousands of prayer leaders and volunteers who have stood in the gap due to her example. She will be deeply missed.
The Persecuted Church
What Christmas looks like in Baghdad this year
In a bid to show solidarity with Iraq's embattled Christian minority, local authorities in Baghdad have put on an official Christmas celebration this year. Fireworks have been set off over the Tigris in Baghdad every night this week in celebration, and refugees at local camps have been receiving visits from Santa Claus, Reuters reports. A Christmas tree, said to be the biggest in the Middle East, has been installed in an amusement park in the city.
The move comes amid increasing concern that Christianity in the Middle East is facing an unprecedented threat from religious extremism and sectarianism. "In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent," President Obama said in a statement released Thursday, citing Islamic State atrocities against Christians in the region.
Iraq's Christian communities, largely made up of ethnic Assyrians, are some of the world's oldest, with a history that dates to almost 2,000 years. For most of that time, Christians have had a relatively peaceful relationship with their Muslim neighbors and rulers, often enjoying exemption from Islamic religious law. (The Washington Post) Read more here.
Our Weekly Bible Study
Our Weekly Bible Study:
Week of Sunday, December 27, 2015 - Saturday, January 2, 2016
> > > To read the "One Year Bible" weekly letter, go here.
> > > To read the Shabbat Torah readings, go here.
Happy New Year, Everyone!
The KING is coming!
Our Grandmothers' Songs
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
JESUS IS COMING AGAIN
"Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)
Lift up the trumpet, and loud let it ring: Jesus is coming again! Cheer up, ye pilgrims, be joyful and sing: Jesus is coming again!
Coming again, coming again,
Jesus is coming again!
Echo it, hilltops; proclaim it, ye plains: Jesus is coming again! Coming in glory, the Lamb that was slain; Jesus is coming again!
Heavings of earth, tell the vast, wondering throng: Jesus is coming again! Tempests and whirlwinds, the anthem prolong; Jesus is coming again!
Nations are angry-by this we do know Jesus is coming again! Knowledge increases; men run to and fro; Jesus is coming again!
Please go here.
About the Author:
Words: Jessie E. Strout, 1872.
Music: George E. Lee
Signs and Wonders
Week of severe weather leaves at least 43 dead across seven states
Blizzard conditions and flash flood warnings hit the already-ravaged residents of the heartland Monday after a string of severe storms left at least 43 people dead across seven states during the previous four days.
Parts of 11 states were under a winter storm warning Monday morning as the weather system that spawned tornadoes in Texas and flooding in Missouri moved on.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for southern and eastern parts of Missouri, including St. Louis, and a small section of northern Arkansas. Most of Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, central Missouri and central Illinois were under a flood warning. Authorities said more than 180 Missouri roads and several bridges in the state were closed following heavy rainfall during the weekend, and more expected Monday.
Forecasters said Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas would see winter weather conditions ranging from heavy snow to ice, accompanied by gusty winds.
Parts of the Southeast would see rain, while more severe weather was possible in Mississippi. (Fox News) Read more here.
The Good News Corner
British Prime Minister David Cameron's Christmas Message:
Why the UK Should be Thankful it is a "Christian Country"
(United Kingdom)-During this year's Christmas message, British Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized that the U.K. is a "Christian country" which has flourished due to its Christian values despite growing secularization.
"We celebrate the birth of God's only Son, Jesus Christ-the Prince of Peace. As a Christian country, we must remember what His birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope," the PM wrote in the message, which was shared on his personal Facebook page.
"I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none," Cameron continued.
He also encouraged those celebrating the holiday with loved ones to take a moment to "think of those who cannot do the same," such as the thousands of Christians and other minorities driven from of their homes by the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
"If there is one thing people want at Christmas, it's the security of having their family around them and a home that is safe. But not everyone has that. Millions of families are spending this winter in refugee camps or makeshift shelters across Syria and the Middle East, driven from their homes by Daesh and [Syrian President Hafez] Assad," Cameron said. (Breaking Christian News)
Read more here.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Great Are You Lord
By Casting Crowns