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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Friday, February 12, 2016
"But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober." (1 Thess. 5: 4-6)
Publishers' note: As is our policy, we will not post a Brief on Monday, which is a federal holiday. Please take time that day, Presidents' Day, and thank our Lord for the many excellent presidents who have served our people since our beginnings under President George Washington. Thank you.
Abide in Me
Abide in Me . . .
"Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Join us tomorrow night as we abide together in His presence.
Conference number: 605-562-3140
Access Code: 290787#
Time: 9:00 p.m. EDT/8:00 p.m. CDT/7:00 p.m. MDT/ 6:00 p.m. PDT
Thought for Today:
Beloved, find rest in Me alone. Your hope comes from me.
Rest and hope make a wonderful combination and you can find both in Me. Some people search for the best bed or pillow -- or even sleeping pill -- in their quest for deep sleep, but only I can provide what you really need. When you rest trustingly in My Presence, I not only refresh you -- I fill you with hope.
(Source: Jesus Today, by Sarah Young, p. 102)
Verse for Today:
"May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." (Psalm 33:22)
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. Israel says 'always watching' Iran's missile developments following announcement of missile upgrade - Jerusalem Post
Israel did not respond on Wednesday to Iran's announcement it will unveil an upgrade this year of its Emad ballistic missile whose 1,700 km range puts Israel in its reach. However, one government official said that Israel is "always carefully watching" Iran's ballistic missile developments.
The official said that Iranian ballistic missile development was not part of the Iranian nuclear deal, and that this was one of Israel's objections to the agreement.
Iran's defense minister was quoted as saying the country would unveil an upgrade of its Emad ballistic missiles, advancing a program that has drawn criticism from the United Nations and sanctions from the United States. (Read more)
2.Netanyahu: Situation not ripe for two-state solution - Times of Israel
Israel has no choice in the current political reality but to continue its control of the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, asserting that the Palestinians have yet to meet the basic requirements outlined by the government for a final peace agreement between the two nations.
Netanyahu told a special Knesset debate on the two-state solution that he was in favor of the idea, but in practice did not see it being possible unless the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state and agree to a demilitarized state.
He also rejected the claim that Israel's policies in the West Bank were driving the current round of violence, as asserted by some officials in the international community. (Read more)
3. Netanyahu names Nadav Argaman as the new head of the Shin Bet - Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed Nadav Argaman on Thursday as the next head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). "Nadav Argaman has a rich track record of commanding and operative experience in the Shin Bet," Netanyahu said. "I am certain that under his leadership the Shin Bet will continue to strengthen its operational and technological domains and continue to ensure Israel's security."
Argaman, 55, will become the 13th head of the internal security service, succeeding outgoing Yoram Cohen. Argaman is a product of the agency's operations department that in recent years is more and more leaning on signals intelligence (SIGINT) - the use of intercepted communication for operations, serving in its ranks for more than 30 years. (Read more)
4. UN investigator accuses Israel of using 'excessive force' - Israel National News
The UN human rights investigator for Palestinian territories, who just last month resigned, on Thursday accused Israel of using "excessive force" against Palestinians, Reuters reported.
Makarim Wibisono also challenged Israeli authorities to charge or release all Palestinian Arab prisoners being held under lengthy administrative detention, including children.
"The upsurge in violence is a grim reminder of the unsustainable human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the volatile environment it engenders," he said in a final report to the Human Rights Council quoted by Reuters. (Read more)
5. PA asks EU to recognize 'Palestine'- Israel National News
Nabil Shaath, a member of the Central Committee of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, is calling on France and other countries in the European Union (EU) to immediately recognize the "State of Palestine" and to impose significant sanctions on Israel in order to bring an end to the "occupation".
Speaking at a meeting with a delegation from the European Commission, Shaath said that the Palestinian Authority accepts in principle the recently announced French initiative to coax Israel and the PA back to peace talks through an international peace conference.
France has threatened to unilaterally recognize "Palestine" if its initiative for a conference fails. (Read more)
6. Israel to import US beef for first time in over a decade - Times of Israel
Israel will begin regular imports of US beef for the first in over a decade following a deal with a Nebraska meat processing company, a local news source reported Wednesday.
According to the report in the Lincoln Journal Star, Western Reserve will immediately start shipping certified kosher meat to Israel after receiving approval from Israeli and American regulators. Israel had stopped all beef imports from the US in 2003 after a cow in Washington State had been diagnosed with mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). (Read more)
7. Intercessors for Israel: Weekly Newsletter
To read this bulletin,please go here.
8. Bridges for Peace: Weekly Prayer Alert
To read this bulletin, please go here.
The Daily Brief
1. US Army orders hundreds of soldiers back to southern Afghanistan - Fox News
For the first time since combat operations were declared over at the end of 2014, a battalion of 500 U.S. Army infantrymen is being sent to southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand Province where the Taliban have made a comeback, Fox News has learned. The decision, confirmed by defense officials, is a sign of military escalation in the country even as the Obama administration tries to draw down.
The additional soldiers will provide increased "force protection" for a team of special operations forces training and advising the Afghan Army's 215th Corps, which has suffered from desertions and poor leadership, according to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The 500 soldiers will not increase the overall number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. That number will remain at 9,800, according to defense officials. A spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan says the new Army troops will not "participate in combat operations." (Read more)
- Father, we pray that our soldiers can stop and dismantle the Taliban in this region. Even though the State Department has virtually tied the hands of our soldiers through the "rules of engagement" - we pray they find a loophole and stop the Taliban from gaining strength.
- "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you." (Dt. 31:6)
2. Iran-Backed Militias Lead Attacks on Christians in Baghdad - Christian Post
Radical militias with Iranian support are reportedly attacking Christian communities in Iraq, seizing property and sites of cultural interest.
Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk wrote Tuesday that this was happening especially around Baghdad and attributed her information as coming from multiple sources, including "Christian members of the Iraqi Parliament," "Christian community leaders," and the pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
"According to leaders, the seizures have been carried out in the upscale regions of Baghdad, where militia men have forced entry into homes and businesses with falsified documents," wrote Daftari. "Iraq's Christians are considered to be one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, with their villages concentrated in Baghdad, Basra, Erbil and Kirkuk. The Assyrians had made the towns and regions around the Nineveh Plains in the north home, until ISIS forced them out." (Read more)
Father, we pray for these Christian communities. Shield them and protect them. Guide them to a safe place to live in peace. In Jesus Name.
- "Come and see the works of the Lord. He has destroyed parts of the earth. He stops wars to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two. He burns the war-wagons with fire. Be quiet and know that I am God. I will be honored among the nations. I will be honored in the earth. The Lord of All is with us. The God of Jacob is our strong place." (Psalm 46:8-11)
3. Russian engineers working with ISIS in Syria to produce gas - IsraelNationalNews.com
At the largest gas facility in Syria, the Tuweinan gas facility, Russian engineers are working together with ISIS forces to produce natural gas, according to reports from rebels and Turkish officials.
The plant which is located roughly 60 miles southwest of the Islamic State's unofficial capital of Raqqa, was built by the Russian construction company Stroytransgaz whose owner has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Construction began on the plant in 2007 and continued slowly until rebel forces, associated with the Al Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, took over the plant in 2013.
In a report published by the Foreign Policy website, one of the rebels who captured the site said that when the rebel forces entered the area the Russian staff had already fled and left behind the Syrian staff. "We decided to protect this plant; we thought it is belonging to Syrian people since it was owned by the Syrian state," said Abu Khalid, a member of the Qwais al-Qarani brigade. (Read more)
- Father, it seems Russia has its hand in the enemies camp. We pray You work out all these details. Foil the plans of Russia. Bring to the light all their plans. We pray the international community keep Russia from their corrupted ways. In Jesus name.
- "A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress." (Hosea 12:7)
4. Emerging split within Hamas' military wing following member's execution - Jerusalem Post
A split began to emerge in the ranks of Hamas' military wing in recent days after the group executed one of its own members, signaling growing tensions between the organization's local leadership in Gaza and its leadership abroad. On Monday, Hamas posted on one of its social media accounts that its military wing had executed Mahmoud Rashid Eshtaiwi, for ''behavioral and ethical excesses." (Read more)
- Father, we pray these tensions will cause Hamas to split and dismantle. Keep them from re-forming their group. Keep them weak, in Jesus name.
- "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)
5. Russia PM warns foreign offensive in Syria could spark 'world war' - AFP
Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned Thursday that if Arab forces entered the Syrian war they could spark a "new world war" and urged ceasefire talks instead.
Asked about proposals by some Arab countries to enter the conflict under a US command, Medvedev said, "that would be bad because ground offensives usually lead to wars becoming permanent".
"The Americans and our Arabic partners must think hard about this: do they want a permanent war?" he was quoted as telling the German Handelsblatt business daily in an interview.
"Do they really think they would win such a war very quickly? That's impossible, especially in the Arabic world. There everyone is fighting against everyone... everything is far more complicated. It could take years or decades."
"Why is that necessary?" he added, according to a pre-released excerpt from the daily's Friday edition. "All sides must be forced to the negotiating table instead of sparking a new world war." (Read more)
- Lord God, if this is the "set time" for war to break out in the Middle East, then we commit this action to You, asking You to direct these kings to move only according to Your will. If this is not the time for this war to break out, then we simply ask that You would move to quell the hearts of these kings, bringing peace. We ask this in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.
- "You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come." (Matthew 24:6)
6. Diplomats in Munich agree to Syria cease-fire in a week - Fox News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Thursday night that diplomats meeting in Munich have agreed to work with Syrian parties to implement a "nationwide cessation of hostilities." Kerry said that the target is to implement the cease-fire in a week's time but that it would not apply to the Islamic State group and the extremist al-Nusra Front.
U.S., Russia and other world powers agreed to "accelerate and expand" the delivery of humanitarian aid immediately, bringing much needed aid to areas hit hard by the violence. A working group is to start meeting in Geneva Immediately to oversee that.
Thursday's meeting of the International Syria Support Group brought together representatives of regional powers including Saudi Arabia and Iran and European officials. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said everyone's who is needed to make progress is there. (Read more)
- Father God, in these confusing times, this report seems to contradict the one above it, indicating that war may be on hand. We pray in the Spirit over both reports, asking that only truth would guide our intercession. We ask this in Your name, amen and amen.
- "I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding . . ." (I Corinthians 14:15)
7. Top terror groups focused on targeting planes, DHS secretary says - Fox News
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned Thursday that terror groups remain focused on targeting aviation, on the heels of an attempted bombing last week in Somalia - and after the top U.S. intelligence official warned that the Islamic State will try to attack the U.S. this year.
Johnson, delivering his final State of Homeland Security address, stressed that his department is moving to reduce the number of access points to airport employees to reduce any insider threat.
"We have the ability, through airlines, through our relationship with other countries, to put out guidelines that influence the behavior of airport authorities and airport security at overseas airports," he said. "In particular, last point of departure airports, and those are mostly in Europe. Some are in the Middle East. (Read more)
- Lord God, we thank You that this information has now come to light, and we ask for the highest level of vigilance possible to be granted to our security personnel as they guard the airlines here and overseas. By faith in Your name, we place the Blood of the Lamb over every aircraft worldwide, amen and amen.
- "For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light." (Mark 4:22)
8. Congress to Pave Way for Divestment From Anti-Israel Companies - Washington Free Beacon
A bipartisan coalition in both the House and Senate are pushing legislation that would authorize all state and local governments to divest taxpayer funds from any company that engages in boycotts of Israel, according to interviews with lawmakers and a copy of the bill obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
The new bill, which was filed Wednesday afternoon, marks an aggressive push by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to combat the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS, which advocates in favor of economic war against the Jewish state.
The bill would provide legal shelter to states seeking to divest taxpayer funds from any company that has backed the BDS movement. It also would set a legal precedent granting safe harbor for private investment companies to do the same.
The legislation comes amid a new move by the European Union to single out all Jewish goods produced in disputed areas of the West Bank, an effort that the Obama administration has supported. (Read more)
- Lord God, we praise You that this Congress stands strongly with Israel, and that our unshakeable bond with the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is intact. We ask that this bill be passed by a veto-proof margin in both chambers of Congress, and signed into law by the president.
According to the promise of Your Word, we call forth Your hand of blessing upon all who are working to pass this bill, and upon every business in America that refuses to label goods coming out of Israel. We ask this in Your Name, Abba, amen and amen.
- " . . . those who bless you I will bless . . ." (Genesis 12:3a)
9. Do or Die: Nevada lawmaker describes convincing last Oregon holdout to surrender - Fox News
When 27-year-old David Fry held a gun to his head and threatened to pull the trigger with 31,000 people listening in on a livestream, Michele Fiore knew she had only a few precious moments to save the situation.
It was do or die.
"There was a lot going on in his mind," Fiore told FoxNews.com in an exclusive interview. "I think that sometimes when you don't know what's in store or what's going to happen next, it's scary."
Fry, the final occupier of a remote federal property in Oregon, surrendered Thursday afternoon to federal authorities after a lengthy six-week standoff that had already claimed the life of one sympathizer and looked like it might claim another. (Read more)
- Lord God, we thank You for Michele Fiore's courage as she stepped in to bring the final, peaceful resolution to this month-long tense situation. Thank You that no lives were lost; and that calm has now returned to this region. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayers that this conflict would be resolved, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.
- "I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." (Psalm 9:1)
The Daily Jot
Friday, February 12, 2016
A frank look at the race powder-keg
Tension between Blacks and Whites has grown over the past seven years, and most do not want to discuss it. Many Blacks are angry at the way they are treated and many Whites don't understand why people of color are angry. There are others, both Black and White, who are just stirring the pot, so to speak, and creating tension. Many well-intended people are afraid to discuss the situation for fear of being labeled "racist" or "radical." Emotions on both sides of the issue were heightened by the Super Bowl halftime performance of Beyonce'. While using such a venue to make a political statement is debatable, there needs to be respectful dialogue on the issue of race, and the "church" needs to be involved.
Let's look at Ferguson, Mo., where the Justice Department has sued Ferguson because its investigation found that Ferguson police disproportionately targeted black residents with stops and searches and arrested many without legal justification. This is the latest fallout from the federal scrutiny that followed the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. Neither a grand jury nor the Justice Department prosecuted Wilson, concluding that Brown was shot in self-defense. Riots ensued, inflamed by elements such as Black Lives Matter and other groups with anti-American agendas who flocked to Ferguson. There are many more examples, even one where police shot a young boy who was playing with a toy gun in a park. Shooting to kill should be the last resort, not a matter of policy.
Many Whites look at Ferguson and see the facts that Brown had robbed a store and attacked a police officer. Thereafter, radical groups inflamed rioting. It was lawless and police had no choice but to restore order. Many Blacks see the situation differently--that the police, as an ongoing practice, had targeted people of color unjustly and the Brown incident was the tipping point of pent up frustration. A year long investigation proves the point: When reasonable dialogue is prohibited, the unreasonable occurs. Imagine, if you will, having fear of being intimidated by police every time you walk down the street. This kind of thing happens. The perception of it happening a lot becomes an oppressive reality that folks live with every day.
Making martyrs of criminals doesn't compute with the law abiding. But most can understand a police state. Radicalization and violent revolution, as promoted by Black Panthers and Islam, is not the solution. Neither is White supremacism. These are all extremely dark. We, the "church," need to figure out how to speak into these situations. Instead, we point the finger. We push back. We look the other way. But the light of Christ needs to show us a way out of this darkness. We often appear like an enemy rather than the eternal solution, causing folks to migrate toward agenda-oriented groups. We are all one race--the human race. We need to respect one another. It starts with the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day! Bill Wilson
The Persecuted Church
Police Threaten to Arrest Christian Family If Daughter Isn't Returned to Muslim Abductor in Pakistan
A Pakistani Christian mother of three who was kidnapped and forced into an Islamic marriage with her Muslim landlord last summer has escaped from her captor and is now in hiding, as local authorities have threatened to arrest members of her family if she is not returned to her abductor.
Thirty-year-old Fouzia Sadiq, whose entire family works as bonded laborers at a brick kiln in Pattoki owned by 60-year-old Muslim Muhammed Nazir, was called to come to Nazir's home on one of her off days last July to provide cleaning services because he was expecting guests.
Although Fouzia's family was expecting her to return home later that day, she never returned. As previously reported, Fouzia's brother went to Nazir's home to inquire about his sister and was told that she would return the next day. When Fouzia did not return the next day, her brother went back to the landlord and was told not to return to the home because Fouzia committed to a marriage with Nazir and was now considered to be his property.
The family then went to the police and requested that the department to investigate the abduction. According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, the police initially failed to lodge an incident report on Fouzia's kidnapping. It wasn't until BPCA officer Mehwish Bhatti challenged the police officials on their refusal to register the case that the department finally lodged a report. (Christian Post) Read more.
Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:
TO ARMS! TO ARMS! YE SOLDIERS!
"Put on the whole armor of God." (Ephesians 6:11)
To arms! To arms! ye soldiers, The trumpet call obey! Arise from dreary slumbers To watch, and fight, and pray.
To arms! to arms! ye soldiers,
The trumpet call obey!
With Jesus as our Leader,
We're sure to win the day.
'Tis not to rest, or banquet, Or proud parade we go; The fight of faith is fiercer, Than worldly warriors know.
Against the powers of darkness With fearful craft and rage, Our heavenly Captain calls us Incessant war to wage.
We'll bless Thee for the battle, We'll glory in the strife; We'll shout at call of trumpet, We'll win eternal life.
(Sung to the tune of: "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus")
About the Author:
Words: Robert Lowry, 1877.
Music: Ira D. Sankey
Signs and Wonders
New star puts on a show in stunning image
A newly formed star some 500 light years away in the southern constellation of Chamaeleon Complex is putting on quite a show. ADVERTISEMENT
The bright light from the star known as HD 97300 is reflecting off the cosmic clouds of dust particles that surround it, thus forming what is called a reflection nebula known as IC 2631. From Earth, that reflecting light appears as the swirling blue in this image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.
HD 97300 is one of the youngest stars in the area but it is not alone. Take note of the dark nebulae in the image, suggesting the region is full of star-making material. Dark nebulae are so dense with gas and dust that they prevent the passage of background starlight.
While HD 97300 is bright, it isn't all that big and its moment in the spotlight is not expected to last. In fact, it is called a T Tauri star, the youngest visible stage for relatively small stars. As these stars mature and reach adulthood, they will lose mass and shrink. (Fox News) Read more.
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." (Luke 21:25)
The Good News Corner
China Frees Pastor Who Opposed Cross Demolitions
The Chinese government has given a new year's gift to a Chinese pastor and his family. Pastor Huang Yizi has been freed after spending five months in a government "black jail."
Last September, Huang was arrested and imprisoned on a charge of "endangering national security."
Pastor Huang leads Feng Wo Church in China's Zhejing province, where government officials have torn down crosses from more than 1,700 churches.
Huang previously spent one year in prison for leading a prayer vigil protest against the cross removals. China Aid's Bob Fu says Pastor Huang appeared thin and pale after spending five months in a black jail. (CBN) Read more
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
On the Wings of a Snow White Dove
When troubles surround us . . . He is there.
Two Daily Conference Calls
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